Numerous stellar performances highlighted the Goshen College men’s and women’s track and field meet this past Saturday as the team took part in the Hanover College Invitational.The men finished with a total of 21 points, earning them a 12th place finish. The women finished the day by registering just 3 team points and taking a last place finish. The entire team had to struggle against winds blowing at about 20 miles per hour, including gusts around 35-40 mph.
For the men, Ryan Smith, junior, posted Goshen’s only first-place finish at Hanover, winning the 5,000-meter run with a time of 15:35.19.
“Despite having to deal with the wind for 12.5 laps Ryan ran almost as fast as he did indoor with much less effort,” said Goshen College head track and field coach Rustin Nyce. “He is in shape to run some pretty good races soon.”
Days after finishing first in the 800-meter run at the Dick Small Invitational in Defiance, Luke Graber, junior, posted a third-place finish with a time of 2:01.61, just two seconds slower than his 1:59.12 finish last weekend. Graber was also seventh in the 1500 with a finish of 4:13.98 and ran the first leg for the 1600-meter relay team of Graber, Tim Lehman, senior, Christian Stevens, senior, and Abe Medellin, first-year.
On the women’s side, GC posted a pair of top-10 finishes in the 5,000-meter run from Megan Graves, junior, and Natalie Graber, senior. Graves finished in eighth with a run of 20:57.85, while Graber crossed the finish line 10th in 21:22.01.
The Maple Leafs’ other scoring came from a pair of throwing events. For the women, Calla Barnett, junior, took seventh in the javelin with a throw of 92 feet, 5 inches and eighth in discus. For the men, Austin Weaver, sophomore, threw for his first time, finishing eighth in the javelin with a toss of 138 feet.
Back in Goshen, the race walkers stole the show once again, as all three walkers finished in the top three of their respective events. On the women’s side Abby Dunn, senior, blew the competition away with a first-place finish time of 26:05. Dunn finished the 5,000 meter-event in an astounding 100 seconds ahead of the NAIA automatic qualification standard, securing her spot at the national meet in Gulf Shores, Alabama in May.
Finishing just a minute behind Dunn, Kayla Gray, junior, finished the walk with a time of 27:05.02, earning Gray a third-place finish and a trip to Gulf Shores as well.
The third GC race walker to compete, Sawyer Biddle, sophomore, finished second in the men’s 5,000-meter walk with a time of 25:14.2. Biddle was just shy of punching his ticket to the NAIA national outdoor championships.
Goshen returns to the track next weekend for the Huntington University Invitational.