TRK: Hodges, Rowan earn All-American titles

GENEVA, OHIO – Sophomores Elysia Hodges claimed third place and Shane Rowan finished fourth on Saturday in their respective events to earn Indoor Track and Field All-American Honors at the NAIA National Championship. The women’s distance medley relay team also earned All-American honors with a fifth place finish.

Hodges broke her own school record in the women’s 600 meters with a time of 1:33.49. Hodges had previously established the school record of 1:33.70 on February 2 at the Westmont Sunshine Indoor Open.

“Elysia ran a controlled and focused race,” said Westmont head coach Russell Smelley. “She gauged her finish well by overtaking three runners coming off of the final turn. She had a race plan that she followed well to meet her goals.”

Rowan, competing in the men’s triple jump, finished fourth with a mark of 14.70 meters (48-2.75). The jump was the sixth best in Westmont history and Rowan’s best mark this year.

“Shane had a place goal for himself, which was to improve on last year’s sixth place finish by finishing third,” noted Smelley. “He was in third up until the final round when he was pushed back to fourth. He made a huge effort on his final jump, which was thwarted by a foul. Shane was much more relaxed and confident this year after twice earning All-American honors in 2012. His easy smile and affable manner belie the intense competitive nature that he holds in reserve for efforts such as this.”

In the women’s distance medley relay, Jordan McCall, Amanda Chevalier, Theresa Nealon and Jessica Meyers recorded a time of 12:09.10 in their fifth place performance. The time was the third best in the Westmont record books.

“Mandi Chevalier stepped into the 400 leg and ran a 57.4 at that distance,” said Smelley. “Having been the team’s standout short sprinter throughout her time at Westmont, she asked for the opportunity to run on the 4 x 400 relay this year. When that team came up short for the finals, I inserted her in the DMR final with the chance to prove her mettle in a championship race.

“She came through in fine style, running almost a second faster than she had in the 4 x 400 trials on Thursday. Senior Theresa Nealon completed the connection between the freshmen bookends who handled the nationals’ race as comfortably as a dual meet at home. Jordan McCall and Jessica Meyers handled the bulk of the relay laps with aplomb to give the Warriors a second All-American DMR in two years.”