Pilots Produce Program’s Best Finish at 2017 NAIA National Championships
The final stamp on the 2017 Bethel track and field season was one for the record books. With a pair of all-American performances by the men’s 4×100 relay and 4×400 relay teams, the men’s team turned in the program’s best finish at the national meet by taking eleventh out of 65 teams. The Bethel women also had a strong showing to conclude the three-day meet, landing in 31st in the field of 68.
The men’s 4×400-meter relay team of Jamique Mitchell, Conner Sowders, Brett Baumgartner and Alex Moses doubled BC’s all-American count as the foursome finished sixth in the event with a time of 41 seconds flat. The finish added three points to the Pilots’ team total. The final points of the day were scored in the final event, the men’s 4×400-meter relay. To close the season with an exclamation point and seal BC’s best finish in history, Baumgartner, Sowders, Moses and Travis Sperry ran the Pilots into a fourth-place finish with a time of 3:15.97. The top-four finish earned the squad all-American distinction and brought BC’s total to 12 over the three-day meet.
Also competing for the Pilots for the final time were seniors Joel Hartman and Kyle Ostrander. Hartman finished his historical career with a tenth-place finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, clocking in at 9:48.45. Ostrander capped his career with a twelfth-place finish in shot put with a mark of 15.64 meters.
The Pilots will make their way back to Mishawaka with a collection of accolades headlined by the first NAIA outdoor national champion in the history of the women’s program in Danielle Wojciechowski. Bethel also boosts a pair of national runners-up in Erik Escobedo and Elias Micozzi in the hammer and discus, respectively.
10th Joel Hartman – 9:48.45
12th Kyle Ostrander – 15.64
6th Bethel – 41.00 – All-American
4th Bethel – 3:15.97 – All-American