GULF SHORES, Ala. - The Maple Leaf men's and women's track and field team pulled off a perfect 4-for-4 sweep of All-American honors at the 2014 NAIA Outdoor National Championships this weekend. Despite having only four student-athletes competing at the event, Goshen walked away with four All-Americans.
The outstanding weekend continues a spectacular run of success for the Maple Leaf program. Goshen garnered four All-American honors out of seven competitors at this year's indoor championships and set a school record with seven All-Americans (eight participants) at last year's outdoor championships.
As has been the case over the last nearly decade, the race walk continued to be a highlight of the Leafs' success. Sophomore Abby Dunn led off for Goshen in a highly competitive 5,000 meter race walk field. She made it four All-American honors in four tries, taking seventh in 28:11.63.
The men's race walk quickly followed and juniors Mitchell Brickson and Kolton Nay added two more All-Americans to Goshen's slate. Brickson made it a perfect 6-for-6 in national events, outlasting the heat for a fifth place time of 26:15.20. Nay, meanwhile, earned his second All-American nod in as many attempts, taking sixth in 27:38.27.
With three All-American honorees, the Maple Leafs have now racked up 29 in race walking events since 2007. Tina Peters was the first race walker in program history and set the tone with four national titles and eight All-American selections beginning in 2007.
Goshen was not done, though. Fresh off a Crossroads League Championship, senior Kyle Mishler took on a very deep high jump field. He cleared 6-foot-7 on his first jump of the competition, which proved to be pivotal. A total of 15 participants eventually cleared the opening height, but just seven did so on their first leap. While he couldn't quite edge over 6-foot-9 for a new school record, his early clearance put him in a tie for seventh and earned him his first career All-American honor.
With 7.42 points, the Goshen men finished 31st as a team, the highest among Crossroads League teams. Dunn's two points put the Maple Leaf women in a tie for 46th overall, one of four league schools to score at the national meet.
With eight All-Americans (indoor and outdoor combined), the Maple Leaf men's and women's track and field team was responsible for all eight of Goshen College's national honors this academic year.