Finish with a flourish

Women earn first place in the track and field GSAC championships, and the men take home fourth.


Marika Adamopoulos

Johnathan Burkhardt/THE CHIMES

Dale Fredriks, Writer

Last season ended up a lackluster performance for the Eagles track and field team. The women were not able to finish in first, breaking the two-year streak of coming home with the championship title. The men finished in fifth place of seven teams, the worst finish for them in four years.

This year ended with a better story, as the women took home the Golden State Athletic Conference championship for the third time in four years, while the men improved a spot, finishing in fourth place.

“The men and women both performed very well at the conference championship,” said Sean Henning, head coach. “I was very happy with the resiliency the women showed to battle all the way to the end and squeeze out every point we could to win the conference title. The men, even though they were low in numbers, did a great job of competing hard and holding their own against some stiff competition.”

top of the leaderboard

The two-day meet took place from April 28 to 29 in Santa Barbara, Calif. at the Westmont College track. A total of 10 events finished with a Biola jersey at the top of the leaderboard, with the women accounting for nine of them.

Day one of the meet finished with four Biola event wins and three additional prelim leaders. The Eagles wrapped up championships in the 4x800m relay, 3000m steeplechase, pole vault and javelin throw. The relay proved Biola’s most dominant victory of the entire meet, as the four-person squad consisting of seniors Kellian Hunt, Alisa Murray, Anika Gasner and sophomore Hannah Hunsaker finished in 9:21.79, a time more than a minute faster than the next closest school.

Junior Lyndee Dawson earned herself an individual title in the 3000m steeplechase, which she finished in 10:54.43. Senior Nicole Falkenstein won herself a pole vault championship by vaulting 3.66m, a number that beat the second place finisher from Westmont by 0.32m. The javelin throw fielded the final day one Biola champion, as senior Megan Crumley hurled the javelin 37.71m, exactly two meters further than the next closest competitor.

Biola’s women also had three first place qualifiers, with sophomore Emily Heisinger doing the honors in the 200m dash and Hunt leading both the 800m and 1500m. On the men’s side, they had a second place finishing team in the 4x800m relay and three third place finishers in the 800m and 1500m prelims plus the shot put final. Both teams finished day one in second place of the six schools there.

barely beating out

Day two proved more of the same for the women’s team, as they increased their championship win total by five, garnering wins in the 800m, 1500m, discus, hammer throw and triple jump. Gasner, in addition to her team win in the 4x800m relay the day before, added the 800m and 1500m championships to her belt. Gasner barely beat out her teammate Hunt in the 1500m, finishing in 4:28.56 compared to Hunt’s 4:29.31.

Crumley joined Gasner as the only Eagle with two individual championships, as her day one win in the javelin throw was joined by a win in the discus, where she tossed the disc 38.39m. Another throw win came courtesy of sophomore Ambernicole Hollinger, whose 40.20m hammer throw mark beat out the second place finisher by just over half a meter. Sophomore Teddi Wright won the triple jump to wrap up the list of champions for the women, as she jumped 11.36m.

just under a second

The men only fielded one champion in the tough field of schools, which came in the 1500m run. Senior Andrew Daedler finished in 3:54.52, a ‘B’ standard in the event and just under a second quicker than the next closest finisher from The Master’s College.

“Winning a conference title has been a goal of mine since I committed to Biola in high school,” Daedler said. “I've had ups, downs, and setbacks to every season I've had here, so I'm thankful that I was able to come back for my fourth season and get that conference title I've been working for.”

The season is not over for Biola, as they have two more meets before the NAIA outdoor championships in late May. The next meet is the Occidental Invitational on May 7, followed by a meet at Lewis and Clark College on May 15.

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