TRK: Westmont hosts UCSB, Pepperdine in tri-meet

The Westmont Track was alive with the sights and sounds of a triple-dual track meet on Saturday as the Warriors hosted NCAA Division I UC Santa Barbara and Pepperdine. School and stadium records were re-written and several Westmont athletes posted qualification marks for the upcoming NAIA Indoor National Championship.

John Nealon was the only Westmont man to record an automatic qualification mark. He posted a time of 1:54.72 in the 800 meter run while finishing a second place to UCSB’s Jordan Scott (1:54.15).

Bradford Ortlund came in first in the 100 meter dash in a time of 11.61. Josh Taylor claimed first in the 200 meter dash with a mark of 23.48.

The Gauchos claimed a 120 to 65 win over Westmont’s men and a 127 to 10 win over Pepperdine. The Westmont men defeated Pepperdine 130 to 12.

The women’s competition was capped at the end of the day with a blistering 4 x 400 meter race. Both UC Santa Barbara and Westmont’s “A” teams beat the previous stadium record. However, Westmont’s Elysia Mitchell pulled ahead down the final stretch for the win.

Mitchell was preceded in the relay by Jessica Erickson, Kaylin Koopmans and Taryn Phipps who posted a time of 3:47.44, beating the previous stadium record by 2.55 seconds and the previous Westmont record by 0.83 seconds. UCSB finished with a time of 3:49.61. The Warriors’ mark bettered the automatic qualification time by almost 13 seconds and is the second fastest time in the NAIA this year.

Mitchell also broke the stadium record in the 400 meters, finishing the single-lap race in an automatic qualification time of 54.50. The mark was 0.21 seconds better than the previous stadium record – which she set in 2013.

Erickson also competed in the 400 meters and earned an automatic qualification time of 58.17 while finishing fourth.

Mitchell also won the 200 meters. Her time of 25.09 earned her another automatic qualification for Indoor Nationals.

Taryn Phipps finished second in the 800 meters, finishing 0.47 seconds behind UC Santa Barbara’s Kaitlin Large. Phipps time of 2:14.90 was more than three and one-half seconds faster than the automatic qualification mark.

Jessica Meyers finished third in the mile run with a time of 5:07.79 behind UCSB’s Tori Tsolis (5:04.56) and Jenna Hinkle (5:06.71). Meyers earned an automatic qualification in the event.

In the women’s 3,000 meter, Kelly Collins posted an automatic qualification time of 10:22.89 to finish second behind UCSB’s Daniella Moreno (10:08.44).

The Gaucho’s Jessica Emde won the high jump with a height of 1.76 meters (5-9.25). In second and third place were Westmont’s Becky Collier and Alexus Dalton who cleared 1.73 meters (5-8) and 1.70 meters (5-7) respectively. Both Collier and Dalton met the NAIA automatic qualification standard.

Dalton also qualified automatically in the long jump after taking first place with a mark of 5.52 meters (18-1.5).

As for the women’s team competitions, UC Santa Barbara defeated Westmont 116 to 75 while Westmont beat Pepperdine 129 to 36. UC Santa Barbara posted a 137-31 win over Pepperdine.

The NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championship is the next scheduled event for the Westmont team. The championship meet will be held March 5-7 in Geneva, Ohio.