NAIA Outdoor Nationals: Day One Recap
|EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - Just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis (Mo.), eight members of the Maple Leafs Track and Field Team are competing on the largest stage in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.|
The best of the best from over 300 schools across the United States and Canada have gathered for this week's NAIA Outdoor National Championships and Goshen is on hand.
Check back daily as the Maple Leafs look to set their mark on the field.
|Day One Recap|
Miller Moves On To Semis After Strong Kick
The Goshen College track and field team has had a recent history of close calls at the national championships. The last several years, the cardiac-inducing moments have been centered around hurdler Abri Houser teetering on the both edges of reaching the next round.
Houser was glad to have sophomore Jon Miller (Syracuse, Ind.) take that role on Thursday in the 400-meter hurdles. Miller - one of the most pleasant surprises at the MCC Championships a month ago - was more than happy to oblige as well.
Typically a fast starter, Miller was stuck in a heat that jumped out of the blocks extremely quick. Finding himself in an uncomfortable seventh place after 200 meters, Miller did the unusual. He flew past two competitors and then kept his composure as another fell over a hurdle right beside him.
The last 150 meters resulted in Miller being in a sprint for third with an automatic qualifying spot for Friday's semifinals on the line. Miller's final gasp was just short and the sophomore would have to wait to see his fate with the next four fastest times - from four heats - moving on.
Miller's final push paid off. In his first national championship appearance, Miller squeaked into the 16th and final spot in Friday's semifinals.
|Houser Qualifies For 100 and 400-Meter Hurdle Semifinals|
With the top four runners in each of three heats advancing to Friday's semifinals, senior Abri Houser (Newton, Kans.) booked her ticket as she ran to fourth place in the second heat on Thursday.
Seeded 18th out of 24 competitors coming in, Houser ran the 13th fastest time of the day as she crossed the line in 15.13 seconds on a hot and humid day. She will have her work cut out for her in order to reach Saturday's final and earn her first All American honor.
Just three hours later, Houser was at it again. This time, she shaved six thousandths of a second off her own Goshen College record in the 400-meter hurdles. The senior placed third in her preliminary heat and 11th overall in the first round as she easily moved into Friday's semifinal round.
Houser's 100-meter hurdles final is scheduled for 1:20 p.m. (CST) on Friday, with the potential final slated for 4:25 p.m. It could turn out to be a busy day for Houser as her 400-meter hurdle semifinal is scheduled for 5:15 p.m.
|Kronk Throws Best Of Season In Hammer|
Senior Deanna Kronk (Elkhart, Ind.) was able to add a full foot to her qualifying mark, but it was just short of sending her to Thursday's final in the hammer throw.
The Northwood High School product hurled the hammer 159-feet even on her first throw for her best mark of the season. However, it would have taken a near career and school record to get on the medal stand in a talented field in St. Louis.
Kronk's career best of 163-feet, 4-inches would have sent her to the finals and eventually would have grabbed her eighth place and would have been within two feet of All American honors. Despite not getting the national honor, Kronk threw her best of the season to move up two spots from her seeding mark.
Far from done on the weekend, Kronk will compete in the discus on Friday before finishing her collegiate career with the shot put on Saturday.
Kronk still is qualified for and set to compete in the discus on Friday night (6 p.m.) and the shot put on Saturday afternoon (1 p.m.)
|Sowers Ends Career With Solid Effort|
Two years ago, senior Katie Sowers (Hesston, Kans.) was a college basketball player who had not thrown the javelin competitively since high school.
It has been two years, two national championship appearances, and a school record since and it is still astonishing how a four-year collegiate basketball standout turned back into a javelin powerhouse.
On Thursday, Sowers wrapped up the amazing transformation as she competed in St. Louis. While not able to match her career and school record, Sowers did manage to finish in the same place as she was seeded for the event (19th out of 29 participants).
Sowers best mark of the day was 126-feet, 7-inches.