GOSHEN, Ind. — Junior Sawyer Biddle became the second Goshen College track and field athlete to qualify for the 2017 NAIA outdoor national championships on Saturday at the Eigsti Track and Field Complex.
Biddle finished third among collegiate male competition in the 5,000-meter event at the Goshen College Outdoor Race Walk, completing the 3.11-mile event in 25 minutes, 35.68 seconds. The time puts him more than nine seconds inside the NAIA's provisional qualifying standard and would make him the 10th seed at nationals if the season ended today.
The 2017 outdoor meet will mark Biddle's third trip to nationals: he earned all-American honors in the indoor 3,000-meter race walk in 2016. He joins Ryan Smith, the school record holder in the 5,000-meter run, as Maple Leafs set to compete in Gulf Shores, Alabama, over Memorial Day weekend.
Siana Emery, the lone Maple Leaf woman, also finished third in 28:44.33, missing national qualification by 29 seconds in her first-ever 5,000-meter walk.
Sam Elmi of Cornerstone and Amberly Melendez of Cardinal Stritch won the men's and women's races, respectively.
The Goshen race walk contingent returns to the track at Goshen College Race Walk II on Friday, April 28; the rest of the Maple Leaf teams compete at the Indiana Little State Championships this weekend at Taylor University.