A small contingent of Goshen College track athletes opened the outdoor track and field season on Saturday at the Dick Small Invite in Defiance, Ohio.

Tina Peters, a junior, was the only female competitor on the track for the Maple Leafs. Peters ran a personal best in the 5,000 meters to place sixth with a time of 20:34.

Several throwers had good meets for the women’s team. Katie Sowers, a senior, started the outdoor season with a win in the javelin throw with a 128′ 4″ toss that hit the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics outdoor qualifying mark for nationals. Rachel Mast, a sophomore, added depth to the event, placing fourth with a throw of 101′ 6″.

Coming off her appearance at the NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championships, Deanna Kronk, a senior, had a good showing in Defiance. Kronk placed second in the hammer throw (147’0″), third in the shot put (38′ 11 ½”)  and sixth in the discus (115′ 1″).

The men’s team also had several strong early season marks. Jon Miller, a sophomore, won the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 56.17. Ben Bouwman, a junior, ran a personal best in the 10,000 meters (33:20.17) to finish second. His brother Nick Bouwman, a junior, also ran a strong race finishing fifth in 35:56.71.

Three first-year Maple Leafs also had strong showings for the men’s team on Saturday. Ian Shelly, a first year, placed fifth in the 110-meter hurdles (19.15). Alain Chaponniere, a first year, took seventh in the 400 meters (53.03), and Billy Funk, also a first year, placed seventh in the 800 meters with a time of 2:08.50.

Despite competing without full teams, both the men’s and the women’s teams finished fifth with 35 points.

The Maple Leafs will host the Goshen Invitational on Saturday. The meet is the only home event of the outdoor season and starts at 11:30 a.m. with the race walk and all field events.