Leafs Take Eight Individual Titles At Home Meet
GOSHEN, Ind. - Despite temperatures hovering in the mid-20s and gusts of wind sweeping across the Eigsti Track and Field Complex, Goshen College dominated several events as they hosted the annual Maple Leaf Invite.
The Leafs wasted no time opening the meet with a three-person sweep in the 3000-meter race walk. Junior Tina Peters (Yellow Springs, Ohio) took first place with a time of 15.17.35, Tessa Horst (Dalton, Ohio) placed second in 16.10.79, and Laura Stoesz (Indianapolis, Ind.) followed closely behind taking third with a time of 16.44.24.
After competing in the NAIA Indoor National Championships several weeks ago, all three women finished under the qualifying mark for the outdoor event held in St. Louis in May. Meanwhile, freshman David Horst (Dalton, Ohio) set a new school record completing in the 5000-meter race walk finishing with a time of 32.09.03.
The Leafs continued to hold their own in the 4x800 meter relay despite junior John Tamirat (St. Paul, Minn.) competing with a fever. Senior David Rumsey (Iowa City, Iowa), freshman Billy Funk (Gallup, NM), senior Sam Chege (Nairobi, Kenya), and Tamirat finished second with a time of 8.16.77. The four men now hold the record for the fastest 4x800 relay time by Maple Leaf athletes on Goshen's home track.
Maple Leaf speed picked up in the 1,500 meter race as Laura Harnish (Flanagan, Ill.) crossed the finish line in first place with a time of 4.57.55. Rumsey followed in the men's 1,500 meter also finishing first with a time of 4.13.69.
Goshen found three more first place victories on the track. Abri Houser not only took first place, but also hit a national qualifying time of 14.94 in the 100-meter hurdles. Chege, with a time of 2.01.41, and junior Rachel Baker (Fremont, Ind.), with a time of 2.26.71, brought home Goshen's final first place track victories of the day in the 800 meters.
Goshen's wins did not stop on the track at the Maple Leaf Invitational. The Leafs continued to flex their strength and agility in the throws and jumps.
Senior Deanna Kronk (Elkhart, Ind.) hit the national qualifying mark coming in first place in the hammer throw with a distance of 151'5''. Kronk also brought in two second place throws in the shot put with a distance of 38' 4 1/4'' and a 124' 5'' throw in the discus.
Kronk was not the only one to put the throwing competition to the test. Senior Katie Sowers (Newton, Kan.) sealed second place in the javelin with a distance of 122' 6".
"Another highlight was a sweep of the jumps by our Ugandan jump queen, Peni Acayo," said Goshen's head coach Rick Clark.
Acayo single handedly dominated the long jump, triple jump, and the high jump placing first in each. In the triple jump, Acayo's mark of 35'11 ¾" broke her own school record set as a freshman last year.
"We had a good team outdoor opener that displayed quality performances as well as depth," said Clark. "I was very pleased with the upper-class leadership that was exhibited both on the track and field and also within the team."
The Maple Leaf women tallied a total of 167 points to finish second out of seven teams participating.
With a solid full-team season opener behind them, the Leafs will continue to demonstrate their speed and strength when they travel to the campus of Anderson University next Saturday.