Track Takes Fourth and Fifth at NCCAA Championship
Another successful day at the NCCAA Outdoor National Championships for the Bethel track and field program landed the Pilots in fourth place on the men’s side and fifth place for the women in the final team standings. Over the two-day meet, BC finished with five individual national titles, 14 NCCAA All-Americans and four new program records.
On the final day, BC’s top finishers were senior Joel Hartman in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and senior Elias Micozzi in the discus. With a time of 9:17.12, Hartman was crowned as the national champion and also claimed the title of NCCAA All-American for the eighth and final time in his four-year running career with Bethel track and field. Micozzi’s mark of 53.93 meters in the discus placed him at the top of the leaderboard and made him BC’s first back-to-back-to-back-to-back NCCAA Outdoor National Champion in one event.
Finishing in second in their respective events were Ryan Jones in the long jump with a mark of 6.94 meters, Kyle Ostrander in the shot put with a toss of 15.16 meters, and the 4×100-meter relay team of Jamique Mitchell, Conner Sowders, Brett Baumgartner and Alex Moses. Along with their national runner-up distinction, all six athletes collected all-American honors. Rounding out BC’s all-American performances on Saturday was Baumgartner who took third overall in the men’s 200-meter dash with a time of 21.37 seconds. Narrowly landing outside the top three, Bethel’s 4×400-meter relay team finished the meet in fourth place but did so in record time, setting a new program mark of 3:14.81.
The Bethel ladies scored in six events on Saturday headlined by a fourth-place finish by the 4×100-meter relay team of Riley Miller, Jessica Miller, Chelsey Wakes and Taylor Pennington. Pennington also secured points for the Pilots with a fifth-place finish in the long jump thanks to a jump of 5.48 meters. Also scoring for the Pilots were Becca Spencer in the 100-meter hurdles, Keryn Lumpkin in the discus, Jessica Duvall in the 1,500-meter, and Trisha Cousino in the shot put.
Bethel will now turn their focus to the 2017 NAIA Outdoor National Championships, which will take place in Gulf Shores, Alabama, on May 25th, 26th and 27th.