Members of the Goshen College men’s and women’s track and field teams competed in the Dick Small Invitational at Defiance College this past Saturday. Competing as only partial teams, both the men and women still managed to pick up fourth place finishes. The outdoor season started with several strong performances, including two event winners and one national qualifier.

On the men’s side, Matthew Webster, a sophomore, won the discus with a throw of 147’ 3”. However, Webster’s best performance came later in the meet when he threw 162’ 3” in the hammer, placing second and qualifying for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics National Championships. The men’s thrower group as a whole competed very well. According to head coach Rick Clark, “In the discus, freshman Jason Lauver and [junior] Eric Hochstetler teamed up with Webster to be the first trio in ten years to all throw over 130 feet.”

The Maple Leaf’s other victory came on the track as Tyler Keller, a senior, won the 400 hurdles in a time of 58.82. Ben Bouwman and Nick Bouwman, both seniors, took third and fourth place respectively in the 10,000m run, both running with very consistent pacing.  Ian Shelly, a sophomore also started the outdoor season off strongly, finishing third in the 110 hurdles.

Jessica Steil, a senior and Rachel Mast, a junior, were the only two women to compete, throwing very well to start the outdoor season. Steil placed fifth in both the discus and the hammer.

The track and field teams compete next in the Maple Leaf Invitational, which is the only home meet during the regular season. Events begin at 11:15 a.m. on Sat., March 27 at the Eigsti Track and Field Complex and should continue throughout most of the afternoon.