GOSHEN, Ind. and ANGOLA, Ind. – Friday evening and Saturday afternoon proved action-packed as the Goshen College men’s and women’s race-walkers and track and field members opened their 2018 campaign.
Friday evening in the Roman Gingrich athletic center on the GC campus, Sawyer Biddle, a senior, finished in second place in the men’s race walk division with a time of 14:18 in the 3,000-meter event. Biddle’s pace was his second fastest time of his career and helped the reigning All-American secure a spot in the NAIA national championships beginning on March 1 in Pittsburg, Kansas. Biddle’s qualifying time secures the White Heath, Illinois product, his third-consecutive trip to the national championships.
Also competing in the GC Race Walk event was senior Kayla Gray. Gray, a three-time national qualifier in the event, came just 10 seconds shy of qualifying for the NAIA national championships with a time of 17:55. Much like Biddle, Gray’s finish was good enough for a second-place tally.
Moving to Saturday, both the men’s and women’s track and field teams travelled to Trine University to compete in the Keith Turner Alumni Invitational. For the men, Vincent Kibunja, a sophomore transfer from Monroe College, led the charge for the Maple Leafs. Kibunja and the two other Maple Leafs swept the top three spots in the 1,000-meter run. Kibunja finished with a 2:48.61 followed by lcal first-year products Salvador Escamilla with a 2:54.86 clip and Gerardo Abad at 2:57.10 to round out the top three. Kibunja, the aforementioned Escamilla and Abad also finished in 7th, 12th and 14th respectively
in the 600-meter trek.
Two Goshen throwers set a personal record in the shot put. Austin Weaver, a senior, took 15th overall with a throw of 39 feet, 5 inches while Jacob Gerber, a first-year, finished 19th overall with a throw of 38 feet, 2 and 3/4 inches. The Goshen men finished seventh overall with a total of 44 points.
The Women’s team also competed at Trine University on Saturday. Leading the Maple Leafs was first-year thrower Kassandra Rodriguez in her collegiate field debut. Rodriguez placed first with a throw of 36 feet, 9 inches, winning by more than half a foot.
Senior Jill Steinmetz capped off the team’s scoring in the 600-meter run tabbing sixth place with a time of 1:56.26. Junior Mara Beck set a personal record in the 300-meter run with a time of 50.81 seconds.
The Maple Leaf men and women placed seventh of seven