Track and Field threatens records

Track and field prevails at Occidental Invite with four automatic Nationals qualifiers and personal bests.


Marika Adamopoulos

Johnathan Burkhardt/THE CHIMES

Kyle Kohner, Writer

After a strong performance at the GSAC Outdoor Championships last week, both the men and women refined their skills at the Occidental Invitational by clocking in personal bests and a school record.

School Record

“It’s always good to get in a good race before Nationals,” said sophomore Lyndee Dawson.

And a good race it was.  

Senior Kellian Hunt epitomized the type of day Biola had at the Occidental College Invitational, crushing a school record time older than most of the runners in the 5000m event field.

Hunt broke a 24-year-old Biola track and field record set by Elizabeth Onyambu, who clocked in at 17:04. Hunt obliterated the record by an astonishing 13 seconds by clocking in at 16:51.

The record time earned Hunt an impressive 15th place out of 70. The field included runners from a multitude of ultra-competitive Division I schools, including UCLA, USC, BYU and UCSB.

“The Oxy Invite is known for attracting a lot of strong competitors, similar to how Nationals will have the best competitors that the NAIA has to offer,” Hunt said. “Running in races like these gets us ready for that level of competition and gets us in the zone.”

Breakout performance

Sophomore Stephanie Croy had a memorable day by earning an automatic qualifying spot in Nationals, clearing the standard time by nearly 20 seconds. Croy also posted her personal best in the 5k, besting her record by 42 seconds at 17:33.

“Stephanie threw down a fantastic 5k this weekend. Seeing her get a 42 second faster personal record as well as an 'A' standard was the highlight of the meet for me, “ Hunt said. “You could tell that she put everything she had into her 5k, and the results show it.”

The latest Biola Athlete of the Week, senior Anika Gasner, snatched up an automatic qualifier in the 5000m. Gasner finished in 27th place with an impressive 17:11 mark. Like Croy, Gasner produced her personal best time in the 5000m. The star senior continues to astonish and improve.

Dawson dashed her way towards an automatic qualifier by finishing right behind her teammate Gasner while achieving a personal best time. Senior Michelle Clark showed up with an impressive day at the meet by obtaining a “B” provisional time of 17:47.

In the women's 3000m steeplechase, freshman Emily Ransom and senior Llima Kung finished 14th and 17th respectively in a field of 23. Ransom’s 11:25 was her personal best time.

Senior pole vaulter Nicole Falkenstein produced a 3.7m vault, tying her personal best. Falkenstein’s last chance to break the school record is at Nationals on May 26-28.

No slouch

The men were no slouch that day either. Sophomore Wes Noyes achieved a provisional standard time of 1:53 and 39th overall in a thick 83-manned 800m event. The time was Noyes’ personal best as well.

Outstanding senior Andrew Daedler finished just behind Noyes in 44th place — a personal best. Freshman Aditya Lal also competed in the 800m, clocking in at 1:56 and in 61st place.

The Eagles have one more tune-up before they seek glory at the NAIA Outdoor National Championships. The next meet will be against Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore. on Sunday, May 15.

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