TRK: Westmont brings 23 to NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championships

MARION, Ind. — The 2013 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Championships will get underway on Thursday with 23 Westmont athletes competing in 15 events. Sophomore Kyle Kemper will be the first Warrior to compete, starting things off with the decathlon. Kemper qualified by recording a top-16 score (5,758 points) in the final week of the season.

Also beginning competition on Thursday morning will be freshman Kristan Holding in the Heptathlon. Holding enters with the competition with the eleventh best score (4,217 points) in the NAIA. Both combined events will conclude on Friday.

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On Thursday afternoon and evening, the Warriors will compete in seven events. The trials for the women’s 4 x 100 meter relay will feature sophomore Elysia Hodges, senior Laurel Stormans, freshman Kailyn Koopmans and senior Amanda Chevalier. Westmont posted the thirteenth fastest qualifying time in the event with a school record 47.88. The finals will be run on Saturday afternoon.

Just over an hour later, junior Evan Bradford will run in the 1500 meter trials. Bradford posted an automatic qualifying time of 3:53.06 at the Westmont Collegiate Classic to qualify for the event. The finals are schedule for 3:10 p.m. EDT on Saturday.

At four o’clock, Stormans will take her automatic qualifying time of 63.25 into the trials of the 400 meter hurdles. Hers was the tenth fastest time in the NAIA this season. Finals are late Saturday afternoon.

Chevalier will run 50 minutes later in the 200 meters. She also posted the tenth best time in the NAIA with a qualifying time of 24.49 which she ran at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational last month. Finals for the 200 meters are set for Saturday at 5:10 p.m.

At 5:40 p.m. on Thursday, the women’s 4 x 800 meter relay team will run in the trials. Freshman Ali Johnson, sophomore Corrine Cherne, freshman Jordan McCall and freshman Ceci Adams are schedule to compete for the Warriors.

The men’s 4 x 800 relay team will compete immediately afterwards. Head coach Russell Smelley will decide between five athletes for the event: Senior Isaac Thompkins, junior David Donner, Bradford, freshman Nathan Evans and senior Matt Shiney. The finals for both 4 x 800 relays will be run early Friday evening.

The final event for the Warriors on Thursday will be the finals of the 10,000 meters in which freshman Jessica Meyers is competing. Meyers posted a provisional qualification time of 38:10.47 to qualify for the event.

On Friday afternoon, senior Theresa Nealon will run in the women’s 800 meter trials. Nealon’s time of 2:11.76 at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational was the sixth fastest in the NAIA this season. The finals will be held on Saturday at 4:50 p.m.

The 400 meter trials are scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Friday. Hodges school record time of 54.71, set at the Golden State Athletic Conference Championships, is the second fastest time in the NAIA this season. The only faster time was 54.07 set by Stacy Warrior of Oklahoma Baptist. The finals are scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Friday evening, Westmont will feature teams in the trials of both the men’s and women’s 4 x 400 meter relay. Smelley will choose between Chevalier, Nealon, freshman Karlie Storkson, Hodges, Stormans and Koopmans for the women’s race. Storkson, Chevalier, Nealon and Hodges established a new school record of 3:49.99 at the GSAC Championships and the fourth best time in the NAIA this season.

The men’s team is scheduled to feature freshman Bryan Avendano, sophomore Christian Hatchett, freshman Tyler Moore and senior Quincy Braxton. The quartet posted a time of 3:15.56 at the Point Loma Classic, which was the second fastest in Westmont history and ninth best in the NAIA this year. Both 4 x 400 meter finals will be held on Saturday evening.

Two Warriors will begin competition on Saturday. Sophomore Daniel Erickson will get up early for the six o’clock start of the marathon and sophomore Shane Rowan will compete in the triple jump beginning at 1:30 p.m. Rowan’s jump of 14.85 meters (48-8.75) set two weeks ago at the Azusa Pacific Last Chance Qualifier is the fifth best qualifying mark.