Justin Chapman | Echo
The indoor track and field season is a quick one. However, many Trojan athletes performed well in their most recent invitational, which was at Indiana Wesleyan last Saturday.
This season, the Trojans have been under interim head coach, Ted Bowers. He replaced David Neville, who announced his departure on Sept. 18, 2017.
Junior distance runner Anna Souzis believes Bowers has been an excellent fit so far and is doing an excellent job of leading the team.
According to Bowers, the team performed incredibly well overall. Sixty-five track and field athletes from Taylor competed, and the Trojans had four A qualifiers and two B qualifiers.
On the men's side, the 4x800 meter team, containing senior Alec DeVries, sophomore Shauntis Lewis, freshman Andrew Runion and junior Ben Byrd, excelled with a NAIA A standard time of 7:51.83. Sophomore Jonathan DeHaan recorded an NAIA A standard in pole vault with a mark of 4.80 meters.
On the women's side, in the distance medley relay, Taylor's team of freshman Sarah Harden, junior Miriam Wood, sophomore Taylor Bluemel and senior Alex Berends smoked the competition with a time of 12:17.19, the second-fastest time in the entire NAIA this season.
Junior Plenseh-Tay Sakeuh recorded a distance of 5.76 meters on the long jump. She also turned in a time of 8.97 on the 60-meter hurdles, hitting the NAIA A standard.
For each event, there are two marks, A and B. An athlete has to perform better than the A or B marks to be claimed as an A or B qualifier. If you are an A qualifier, you automatically will compete in the NAIA Indoor National Championships. Each team can only take three B qualifiers to the Championships, so if someone qualifies for the B mark, they have a chance to go, but are not guaranteed.
"This week it's more about how many points can we score, can we win the inaugural championship - that's what we're shooting for," Bowers said. "We'll get some qualifiers along the way, but they're secondary to the team cause this weekend."
Sophomore thrower Drew LeFever thinks his performance at the Indiana Wesleyan Invitational was acceptable but knows he can do better. He believes he can compete at a higher level.
The Trojans will travel to Marion, Indiana to compete in the Crossroads League Championship today and Saturday. Next Friday, the Trojans will head to Findlay, Ohio, to compete in the Findlay All-Corners Meet.
"Photograph provided Fayth Glock"