Luis Pérez Lerchundi
This weekend, the track and field split their athletes between Marion and Goshen. Some of the Maple Leafs competed on Saturday afternoon at the Indiana Little State Championships hosted by Indiana Wesleyan University, while the race walkers were at Goshen.
At IWU, the Maple Leafs achieved one of the important goals of the outdoors season as senior Mollie Nobel obtained NAIA “A” standard in the 400-meter hurdles, where she had a time of 63.61 seconds. That mark qualifies her for the national meet, set for May 21-23 in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Nebel also reached the finals in the 100-meter hurdles, where she finished seventh in 16.30 seconds. The Maple Leaf women got another two athletes in top 10: the 4-by-400 relay team was eighth, while Tyra Carver finished ninth in the discus.
For the men, sophomore Ryan Smith got the best position after finishing third in 10,000 meters. Smith had a time of 31:49.56. Other athletes that were in the top 10 positions were Marco Fraticelli in the javelin event, the 4×400 team and Vinicius Campos in the 400 hurdles.
At Marion, both Maple Leafs teams finished 11th overall. Goshen College’s track and field team will compete again at the Huntington Invitational on Saturday, April 18.
One of the athletes that finished in a top 10 position, Brazilian runner Vinicius Campos, said, “The meet at Marion was probably the best one we went to so far. It was big and well-organized meet, with good competition, and a lot of people got PRs in both days.”
He added, “On Friday, I had the prelims for the 400m hurdles, where I qualified for the finals on the following day. Then, on Saturday, I ran the finals of the 400m hurdles and the 4×400.”
The season is close to finish but he still has some goals for the rest of it. “Personally, I would like to beat my personal best and try to take a spot among the first places in the Crossroads League,” he said. “And for the team, it would be really nice if we qualified any of the relays to nationals this year. I hope I can help with that,” the sophomore said.
On the same weekend, the race walk team competed on the Maple Leafs’ own Eigsti Track and Field Complex, where they got important results. Junior Abby Dunn broke her own school record in the 5,000-meter race walk, finishing in 25:27.5. Sophomore Kayla Gray was fourth in the same event with a 26:30.0 time. Both of those times meet the automatic national-qualifying standards for the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. In the men’s side, senior Mitchell Brickson hit the provisional standard as he finished first in 24:21.4 while senior Kolton Nay took second in 25:19.3. Full results are available at GoLeafs.net.