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GOSHEN, Ind. – Four members of the Goshen College men's track and field team will join more than 1,000 of the nation's best as they head to the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Championships this weekend.
The 61st annual event will be held at a familiar venue for the Maple Leafs, on the campus of Indiana Wesleyan University. Included in the four Goshen competitors in the event are a pair of Indoor National Championship All Americans, a Mid-Central College Conference Champion, and an NAIA Cross Country National Championship qualifier.
Junior Jake GunderKline (Yellow Springs, Ohio) headlines the group coming off a personal best fourth-place finish at the 2012 Indoor National Championships in Ohio. Also an All American at last year's outdoor championships (sixth place), GunderKline enters this week's 5k race walk field as the fifth seed with a program record time of 22:57.24.
Also in the race walk, freshman Mitchell Brickson (Yellow Springs, Ohio) is seeded ninth with a time of 23:45.24. In the men's and women's race walk combined, the Maple Leafs have racked up an incredible four national championships, 14 All American honors, and 27 national qualifiers in just seven years.
Fresh off a conference championship via a jump-off, junior Sam Jones (Timber Lake, S.D.) is seeded 16th in a strong 28-competitor field in the high jump. Freshman Jordan Smelzter - who competed in the cross country national championships this fall in Washington - is one of three MCC competiors in the 54-man marathon field. He is seeded 28th with a time of 1:12.25 (half marathon seeding time).
This is the first year since 1998 that no Goshen College female student-athlete has qualified for the national championships.
2:05 PM - Men's Race Walk (Jake GunderKline, Mitchell Brickson)
6:00 PM - Men's High Jump (Sam Jones)
6:00 AM - Men's Marathon (Jordan Smeltzer)