12 Biola track stars heading to nationals

Five men and seven women will compete at the NAIA Outdoor National Championships May 27-29 at Indiana Wesleyan University.

Nathan Palatsky, Writer

Biola track and field has enjoyed an exceptionally successful season. Both the men and women finished higher in GSAC Championships than they have in the past decade. Now, five men and seven women have set their sights on the NAIA Outdoor National Championships at Indiana Wesleyan University.

Six-time national champion and 15-time All-American, junior Natasha Miller, who will compete in the heptathlon, 100-meter hurdles and the high jump, leads them into Indiana. At last year’s outdoor championships, Miller became the first Eagle to win two individual titles, winning the high jump and pentathlon on her way to MVP honors. She will be looking to defend both titles and be the back-to-back MVP to go along with her back-to-back MVP awards from the last two indoor championships.

Also on their way to nationals, junior Sarah Brooks and sophomore Jane Kerner will be running both the 10-kilometer and the 5-kilometer. The 4×800-meter relay is anchored by two runners hailing from Alaska, sophomores Brooke Forsi and Nychele Fischetti, who will also run the steeplechase. They are joined by junior Katie Thede, also running the 5-kilometer race, and junior Kelsey Gasner, running the steeplechase.

The men are led by two seniors. Kyle McNulty will run the steeplechase in his home state, and Mike Morin will run the marathon. Junior Carter Williams will also run the marathon. Sophomore Ryan Hanson will throw the javelin and freshman Alex Calkins will compete in the pole vault.

“Four short years ago, there were 12 on the entire track team,” head coach Jonathan Zimmerman said, “And now we are taking 12 to nationals!”

It is a hectic time to be traveling––the athletes who qualified for nationals must stay focused with school ending soon. The team leaves May 25 for Indiana and all the athletes must complete finals and all assignments, plus move out of their dorms before departure. Time management is imperative. “Right now, everyone is just pretty much working out on their own.” Zimmerman said, “They are trying to budget their time and balance what’s on their plates right now.”

While the Eagles bring a strong and confident group to the meet, they are also making it clear that any success is first and foremost for the glory of God. They are always quick to give Him the credit for all their accomplishments. This approach has worked so far and their progress doesn’t seem to be slowing.

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