TRK: Dalton, Collier All-American in pentathlon

(GENEVA, Ohio) Three athletes from the Westmont Women’s Track and Field time finished in the top 10 in the pentathlon at the NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championships. Alexus Dalton posted a school record mark of 3,729 points to finish as the national runner-up.

“Alexus had a fabulous meet. She fouled twice in the shot put and she had to take a safety in it,” said Westmont head coach Russell Smelley. “Her second put was actually good. She put her foot on the inside of the toe board and pushed off of it to save the throw and the referee called it a foul.

“Alexus ran valiantly in the 800 meter to hold her spot, making a personal best time,” offered Smelley.

Becky Collier earned her fifth All-American honor with a sixth place. Collier tallied 3.449 points.

Kristan Holding just missed All-American honors with a ninth place finish. With 3,293 points, she finished just 10 points out of eighth place.

“Kristan was only five points off her personal best in the pentathlon,” said Smelley.

The Warriors picked up 11 team points in the pentathlon and as a result are tied with Doane for first place after the first day of competition. However, the pentathlon is the only event which was completed on day one.

In the women’s 4 x 400 relay semifinals, Westmont posted a time of 3:51.36 and finished first in the third heat, the win secured the Warrior team of Jessica Erickson, Kaylin Koopmans, Taryn Phipps and Elysia (Hodges) Mitchell a place in Saturday’s finals.

‘Jessica did fabulously as a freshman in her first national race,” said Smelley. “She handled it perfectly. Taryn ran the third leg and moved the team up from seventh (place) to first. All they needed to do was finish first to advance and they did with an all-time top-10 performance.”

In the distance medley relay, Terri Baker, Madison Herrera, Ali Johnson and Seirra Wallen placed ninth in the second heat, recording a time of 12:31.7. The Warrior quartet did not qualify for the finals.

“On the first leg of 1200 meters, Terri struggled in the second 600 meters,” said Smelley. “Madison ran a personal best in the 400 hundred leg and Ali and Sierra both matched their outdoor times while running by themselves. Sierra ran a 5:15 anchor, which is good.”

Westmont’s Kelly Collins and Emily Williams represented Westmont in the 5,000 meter run semifinals. Unfortunately, neither competitor was able to earn a spot in the finals. Collins placed 16th overall with a time of 18:16.14 and Williams was 29th with a mark of 18:43.07.

The men’s team competed in only one event on the first day of competition. Jared Klopfer, Jacob Grant, Evan Kramer and John Nealon posted of time of 7:54.61 in the 4 x 800 meter relay and finished in 12th place. The team did not advance to the finals.

“As a freshman, Jared went out on a quick, early pace but, then, fell out of the race,” said Smelley. “The other three guys ran fine after that, but were too far back.”

Tomorrow, seven Warriors will compete in six events, all in the space of two and one-half hours. Dalton and Holding will start things off for the Warriors at 10:00 a.m. PST by competing in the long jump. At 10:05, Jessica Meyers will run in the semifinal of the Mile. Then at 10:35, Herrera will run the 60 meter hurdles.

Mitchell will begin defense of her national championship in the 600 meters at 11:25 when she competes in the semifinals. Fifteen minutes later, Nealon will represent the Warriors in the men’s 600 meter semifinals.

Phipps will wrap up the Warriors’ competition on the second day by competing in the semifinals of the 800 meters.