Leafs News
Biddle, Emery, Friesen, Smith Set For Outdoor Track Nationals
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Track & Field - Thu, May 25, 2017

GULF SHORES, Ala. — After months of training, the 2017 season for the Goshen College men's and women's track and field teams comes down to four athletes, 58.7 miles, and 16 1/2 hours Friday afternoon and Saturday morning at the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships.

The Maple Leafs open their national slate with the 5,000-meter race walk, continuing Goshen's national prowess in the event: at least one GC walker, male or female, has qualified for 22 consecutive national meets in the event. This year's contingent features one of each, as freshman Siana Emery enters as the ninth seed among women while junior Sawyer Biddle is seeded 13th among men. Biddle holds the current team's lone race-walking All-American honor, coming at the indoor national meet in 2016.

The women's 5,000-meter race walk is set for 5:10 p.m. EDT (4:10 local time) on Friday followed by the men's event at 5:40.

Saturday, Goshen's two remaining athletes take to the streets of Gulf Shores for the longest running event in the program as seniors Ryan Smith and Isaiah Friesen compete in the marathon. Smith enters as the second seed after qualifying with a half-marathon time of 69 minutes, 34.6 seconds, while Friesen is 65th with a seed time of 73:58.7. They are the first Goshen men to qualify in the marathon since Jordan Smeltzer in 2012.

Justin Gillette is the only Maple Leaf man to earn All-American honors in the event, something he did in three straight seasons from 2003-05. Gillette also holds the school record in the marathon at 2:29.14 for 26.2 miles. The starting gun is set for 7 a.m. EDT Saturday morning.

Smith also qualified for nationals in the 5,000 meters and the 10,000 meters, but will compete in only one of the three events: since the 5,000 includes both heats and finals, finishing all three events could entail running more than 38 miles in less than 48 hours.

The top eight finishers in each event receive All-American status: Smith has claimed that honor in cross country and the indoor 5,000, but never the marathon.

Live video streaming of all events inside Mickey Miller Blackwell Stadium -- which does not include the marathon -- is available for $14.95 on the NAIA Network presented by Stretch Internet; the event's official timer, CFPI Timing, is providing nearly-live results on its website at no cost to fans.

Goshen College Track & Field
NAIA Outdoor National Championships

Friday, May 26, 2017
5:10 p.m. EDT - Women's 5,000 race walk (Siana Emery)
5:40 p.m. EDT - Men's 5,000 race walk (Sawyer Biddle)

Saturday, May 27, 2017
7 a.m. EDT - Men's marathon (Isaiah Friesen, Ryan Smith)