Women chase three-peat

Women’s track and field work toward earning their third GSAC victory in a row as both men and women compete in Santa Barbara on April 25.

Jack Finck, Writer

Biola track and field finished their regular season at the Mangrum Invitational on April 11. The Biola teams had a combined three top-three finishes in the match, and the women earned spots for two more events at the NAIA National Tournament.  

The women’s 4×800 relay team earned a trip to Nationals with their first place finish at the Mangrum Invitational. The team is composed of juniors Brooke Arvidson and Alexandra Sciarra, along with sophomore Anika Gasner and freshman Lyndee Johnson.  

Smiley finished the women’s 100 meter dash in third place, but earned a spot on the NAIA B team in Nationals with her fourth place finish in the 200 meter.  

“We did amazing,” said senior Michelle Clark. “We had a lot of national qualifiers on the distance side of things and then one sprinter. So I think it just reflects all of the hard work that everybody’s putting in. Even so close to GSAC [Golden State Athletic Conference Track & Field Championships] people are still striving, we’re not giving up.”

Sophomore Brandon Berz secured the highest finish of the meet for the men. Berz secured a second place finish in the men’s 3000 meter steeplechase.  

The Mangrum Invitational was the fourth meet of the outdoor season for Biola. The Point Loma Nazarene University Invitation on March 28 was the only meet where the Eagles earned a team score. Biola’s women’s team took sixth while the men took eleventh. The Concordia University men’s team was the only conference team to place higher than both of Biola’s teams.

“We always perform well on the track,” Berz said. “But more importantly we always perform well off of the track, and I think this season has been a great transition and there are a lot of positives.”

The Eagles’ next meet is the GSAC Track & Field Championships on April 25 in Santa Barbara. Sophomore Lyndee Dawson and juniors Nicole Falkenstein, Megan Crumley and Smiley will attempt to defend their individual conference championship victories this year for Biola.

“Each event coach has done a great job in preparing us,” Berz said. “We are kind of coming out of that dead leg phase where we’re really really tired, and we’re starting to feel fast and we’re starting to feel strong and really really fresh. That’s going to give us a lot of confidence to compete well for Biola.”

The women’s team won the conference the last two years, and the men took third last year for the second straight year. This will also be the last opportunity for Biola to add to their roster for Nationals this season.  

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