Goshen College’s track and field team had to wait out a power failure at the Defiance College Open on Friday before most of the team could compete. Shortly before the meet began, the indoor track facility at Defiance College in Ohio lost power, forcing part of the meet to be delayed for almost two hours. Natural lighting allowed the field events to proceed but the track events had to wait until power was restored.Megan Graves, a junior, was one of the athletes who waited out the power loss before competing. “There was really nothing that we were able to do, it was out of our control. Some people are in field events and they were able to go ahead and compete in those. Most of the team watched the field events and supported our teammates. It was important for me to still think that I was going to run and not let myself think of the possibility that the meet would be cancelled. Staying in a positive and competing mindset helped.”
When the lights came back on, the Maple Leafs showed no signs that the unexpected wait had thrown them off their game. The men’s 4×200 team of Josh Bustos, sophomore, Luke Graber, junior, Tim Lehman and Christian Stevens, both seniors, and the 4×400 relay team of Graber, Lehman, Stevens, and Trever Yoder, a first-year, captured first place in their events. Graber would finish 4th in the mile. Four other Maple Leafs had top 10 finishes with Luke Kauffman, a junior, earning 6th place in the 3000 meter, Yoder finishing 7th in the 800 meter and Stevens and Bustos coming in 9th in the 60 meter and 400 meter respectively.
For the Goshen women, the 4×200 relay team knocked one second off of the school record they had set earlier in the season with a finishing time of 2:10:00. That time was good enough to earn the team of Malia Watkins, junior, Mara Beck, freshman, Natalie Graber, senior, and Megan Graves, junior, second place in the event. Beck notched a top 10 finish in the high jump with a 6th place result, and also finished 11th in the 800 meter. Leah Stebly, junior, earned 13th place in the shot-put and Watkins came in 14th in the 60 meter to round out Goshen’s top 15 finishes.
Graves finished 5th and Graber 7th in the 3000 meter, with Graves setting a new personal best by eight seconds. “I was pretty happy with my time from Friday after working so hard this season,” said Graves. “From this time last year until now I have almost knocked a minute off of my 3k time. For me that is really encouraging heading into the outdoor season and the transition that we have ahead of us. I think that a PR happened this week because we were able to rest a little more and give our legs a break after more than a month of hard workouts.”
On Saturday, Goshen College hosted a race-walking event for the second time this season. Sawyer Biddle, sophomore, paced the men with a first place finish, securing his place at nationals. For the women, Abby Dunn, senior, and Kayla Gray, junior, had previously qualified for nationals and had a strong showing, with Dunn finishing 1st and Gray finishing 4th.
The Track and Field team returns to action on Friday at the Grand Valley State University tune-up in Grand Rapids Michigan.