Day, MacDonald, 4 x 800 relay qualify for nationals

On the final day on which to do so, several more Westmont Track and Field athletes have qualified to participate in the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championship in three more events.

The Warriors men’s 4 x 800 meter relay teams started the day off right at the Westmont Warrior Qualifier by running a time of 7:43.17. The mark not only earned them an automatic qualification into nationals, but also established a new stadium record. The previous record was set in 1972 by US International at 7:43.64.

What makes the feat remarkable is that the Warriors were the only team entered in the race.

“Running alone is hard for a few reasons,” said Jacob Goodin who ran the lead-off leg. “Mentally, it gets to you not having someone to push you and pull you. Physiologically it is a little harder because you don’t have someone breaking the wind. Your nerves before the race are a lot different. We are expected to run fast, so we are trying to do something we are expected to do, rather than getting into a race that is unknown. It is more of an apprehension than and excitement before the race.”

Goodin handed off the baton to junior Garrison Gourdeau for the second leg. Sophomore Matt Shiney ran the third leg for the Warriors with senior Eric Williams running the final 800 meters.

In the men’s shot put, Scott MacDonald achieved a personal record of 15.48 (50-9.5) to reach a provisional qualification mark and earn a trip to Marion, Indiana where the national tournament will begin on May 26. McDonald, a junior, threw for the necessary distance on his fourth of six attempts.

Posting a provisional time of 14:56.29 in the men’s 5,000 meters was sophomore Matt Day. Day had missed qualification by just 0.38 seconds at last week’s Occidental Invitational when he ran 15:59.38. Today’s mark earned him a spot in the national championship field.

On the women’s side, senior Alison Sharp put the shot a personal best 11.99 meters (39-4) to take first place in her final meet as a collegiate athlete.

Sophomore Theresa Nealon also had a personal record performance, winning the 800 meters in a time of 2:16.47.