Justin Chapman | Echo
To say the least, the track and field teams made the most of their time last weekend in Pittsburg, Kansas.
The women's team brought home eight All-Americans, and the men's team totaled two All-Americans. To receive this honor, an athlete needs to make it to the finals in their event and place at least in the top-eight.
"Our performances indicate that our team was very ready to compete, not just attend Nationals," said head coach Ted Bowers. "They have the talent and work ethic to compete with anyone in the NAIA, and they proved it this past weekend."
The men's 4x800-meter relay team consists of senior Alec DeVries, sophomore Shauntis Lewis, freshman Daniel Gerber and junior Ben Byrd. They ended with a time of 7:42.06 to finish fifth.
Byrd enjoyed Nationals, especially since this was his first time making it to a final in Nationals. He also reached the final for the mile run and barely missed receiving All-American after finishing in ninth with a time of 4:21.23.
"The relay was definitely fun, (because) it was the first men's (4x800) All-American (team) since like 1999," Byrd said.
Sophomore Caleb Anthony sped through the 60-meter hurdles in 8.14 seconds and finished fourth. Sophomore Jonathan DeHaan cleared a height of 4.85 meters in pole vault and placed fifth.
Junior Plenseh-Tay Sakeuh earned All-American honors in the long jump with a 5.78 meter jump and 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.93.
Senior Alex Berends earned All-American honors in the 1,000-meter run, and freshman Sarah Harden continued her impressive rookie season by going All-American in the mile run and breaking a Taylor record with a time of 5:02.05.
"But, this year, since because I was just happy to be running at all again, I just had so much fun being there at all," Berends said. "So it was less pressure." The outdoor track season will start March 16, as both teams will travel to Terre Haute, Indiana, to compete in the Rose Hulman Invitational.
"Photograph provided by TU Sports Information Department"