TRK: Warriors bring 21 to NAIA Indoor Championships

A contingent of 21 Westmont Track and Field athletes have made their way to Geneva, Ohio to compete in 13 events at the NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championships beginning on Thursday, March 5.

Senior Elysia Mitchell will seek to defend her 600 meter national championship which she won last year. With a season best mark of 1:34.28, Mitchell holds the second fastest qualifying time in the field of 19 runners. Last year, she claimed the national champion title with a Westmont record time of 1:30.49.

Sophomore Taryn Phipps is entered in the 800 meter run. Her qualifying mark of 2:15.30 is sixth best of the 21 qualifiers for the event.

Mitchell and Phipps will also compete in the 4 x 400 meter relay, teaming up with freshman Jessica Erickson and junior Kaylin Koopmans. Westmont’s qualifying time of 3:49.04 is second best in the field of 27 relay teams.

Competing in the mile will be junior Jessica Meyers. Her qualifying time of 5:07.86 ranks 16th among the 23 entrants.

The 5,000 meter run will feature two Westmont sophomores. Kelly Collins’ mark of 17:45.45 is the seventh fastest qualifying time out of 33 athletes entered in the event. Emily Williams is the 12th fastest qualifier with a time of 18:12.39.

Competing in the 60 meter hurdles will be freshman Madison Herrera. With a qualifying mark of 9.08, Herrera ranks 22nd among the 29 qualifiers.

Herrera will also compete in the distance medley relay, joining juniors Sierra Wallen and Ali Johnson and sophomore Terri Baker. Westmont’s DMR team was the 16th qualifier in the field of 19 teams, posting a season best time of 12:30.99

Three Westmont women are entered in the pentathlon, which takes place tomorrow. Junior Alexus Dalton ranks third among the 16 qualifiers with a point total of 3,713. Sophomore Becky Collier, who placed fifth in the event last year to earn All-America recognition, qualified in rainy conditions with the seventh best point total of 3,330 points. Junior Kristan Holding is the eighth qualifier with 3,298 points.

All three pentathletes will also compete in field events. Dalton and Holding will compete on Friday in the long jump. Dalton posted a season best mark of 5.55 meters (18-2.5) while Holding qualified with a mark of 5.40 meters (17-8.75).

Dalton and Collier will compete for the Warriors in the high jump. Collier, who earned All-American honors last year in the event, is the fourth of 30 qualifiers with a height of 1.73 meters (5-8). Dalton is among six qualifiers with the fifth highest mark of 1.70 meters (5-7).

Junior John Nealon is scheduled to compete in the men’s 600 meter run after posting the sixth fastest qualifying time of 1:20.78. Nealon will compete with 21 other entrants.

The men’s 4 x 800 meter team will consist of some combination of Nealon, freshmen Jared Klopfer and Jacob Grant and juniors Evan Kramer and Bryan Avendano. Westmont qualified for the race with a mark of 7:57.34 as the 14th fastest time out of 16 teams.

Finally, senior Shane Rowan will compete in the triple jump after posting the 12th best mark in the NAIA this season. Rowan – a two-time indoor and one-time outdoor All-American in the event and the Westmont record holder – has jumped for a season best 14.36 meters this year (47-1.25).