Three-fourths of quartet set new half-marathon personal bests

GRANDVILLE, Mich. ā€” With the first partial-squad meet of the 2017-18 indoor track season looming Saturday, four members of the Goshen College track team got their season underway a week earlier than advertised at the Q Elite Track Club’s half-marathon near Grand Rapids last Saturday.

Sophomore Ryan Haggerty paced the group with a time of one hour, 15 minutes and 21 seconds. On the 13.1-mile course, he came within two seconds per mile of the NAIA’s provisional national qualifying standard while setting a new personal best by more than three minutes.

Two of the other three runners also set personal-best times with the third missing by two seconds. Freshman Quinton Read was second among the group in 1:18:49 while senior Brenner Burkholder knocked almost six minutes (more than 25 seconds per mile) off of his best time to finish in 1:21:54.

Junior Alex Steiner was the fourth Leaf in action; while Burkholder’s leap meant Steiner’s time was the fourth-fastest among the group, the West Liberty, Ohio, native still nearly made the team 4-for-4 in personal records. Steiner missed that mark by the second-slimmest of margins, though, finishing in 1:22:11. His mark left all four Goshen runners within 33 seconds per mile of the national standard.

Like every NAIA team, the Maple Leafs have nearly five more months to rack up qualifiers for the NAIA’s outdoor track and field championships, set for Memorial Day weekend in Gulf Shores, Alabama. The NAIA is the only national collegiate governing body to sponsor a marathon as part of its national championship: Isaiah Friesen finished 15th last spring, making him the first GC runner to finish the race since Jordan Smeltzer in 2012.

Goshen opens the indoor portion of its schedule Saturday at the Circle Logistics Warrior Invitational, hosted by Indiana Tech at the Turnstone Center in Fort Wayne. Action begins at 10 a.m.

Goshen College is an affordable, nationally-ranked Christian liberal arts college in Northern Indiana known for leadership in intercultural and international education, sustainability and social justice.

The Maple Leafs compete in 13 varsity sports in the NAIA’s highly competitive Crossroads League, continuing a tradition of intercollegiate athletics that dates to 1956 and included women’s competition nearly a decade before Title IX. For more information on GC athletics, visit and follow the Maple Leafs on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @GCMapleLeafs.