Seven Eagles represent Biola at track nationals in late May

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Seven Eagles represent Biola at track nationals in late May

Freshman Danielle Voland hurls a shotput during the GSAC Track and Field Championships.  Voland competes in both throwing and sprinting events.

Freshman Danielle Voland hurls a shotput during the GSAC Track and Field Championships. Voland competes in both throwing and sprinting events.

Photo by Kelsey Heng

Freshman Danielle Voland hurls a shotput during the GSAC Track and Field Championships. Voland competes in both throwing and sprinting events.

Photo by Kelsey Heng

Photo by Kelsey Heng

Freshman Danielle Voland hurls a shotput during the GSAC Track and Field Championships. Voland competes in both throwing and sprinting events.


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For Biola track and field, it has been a long season. For those track athletes who also competed in cross country, it has been even longer. However, the toil and time invested by these dedicated workhorses is paying off.

The track and field team is sending a total of seven athletes to the NAIA track and field championships. The meet will be held at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Ill., and the events will run May 22-24.

The women put forth a strong effort this year and have been rewarded with four spots in Edwardsville. Representing Biola will be freshmen Natasha Miller and Erika Perez, senior Danielle Simpson and soph. Kristin Schmidt.

Miller will be pulling a heavy load, competing in the 100-meter hurdles, the high jump, which she won at the GSAC championships, and the long jump.

Perez saved her strongest performance for her last meet, running a personal best 11:42.53 to qualify for the 3k steeplechase. Simpson punched her ticket at the Huntington Surf-City Half Marathon, running a provisional qualifying time of 1:33.27. Schmidt will also log some miles in her three days in Edwardsville, qualifying for the 5000-meter and 10000-meter runs.

“Nationals is what we have been working toward all year,” said Miller. “I just hope that all our hard work throughout the year can be expressed through our performances.”

The men’s side has also met success this year. The men will sport three qualifiers – sophomore Kyle McNulty, junior Jared Bird and senior Brian Ball.

McNulty and Ball will compete in the 3k steeplechase and Bird in the marathon. Ball took home top GSAC honors in the steeplechase and looks for another strong performance at nationals.

“Last year only three athletes qualified for outdoor nationals,” said second-year coach Jonathan Zimmerman. “All in all this a great improvement as far as that stat is concerned.”

It is during this time of the year when the term “student-athlete” rears its ugly head. Since nationals begins on May 22, Biola’s representatives have to get ahead in their class work schedules, get packed up and moved out, all while taking their finals early.

This seems to be a daunting task to some on its own, but these select few have to keep up in their training and focus for nationals. So what is on the mind of these track athletes during such a hectic time?

“In the end we can give all the glory to God,” said Miller. “That is what it is all about.”

These athletes serve as stellar examples of what students, athletes, and Christians alike should strive for.