Eagles’ success runs through deep south

Biola’s women’s track and field team prevails at their last NAIA Outdoor Championships by finishing sixth overall, a school record.



Photos Courtesy of Neil Morgan

Kyle Kohner, Writer

The ultra-quick and competitive Eagles Track and Field team sent 12 male and female athletes down south to Alabama for the NAIA Track and Field Outdoor Championships to achieve records and a bag full of strong performances.

Vaulting into the record books

On Biola’s first day at the meet, there were men and women prelims, bests and lasts for the heavily represented Eagles squad. After coming close to the pole vaulting school record all year, senior pole vaulter Nicole Falkenstein finally broke through in the last event of her Biola career, capturing the school record and vaulting a height of 3.75m. The vault earned her a place on the podium in Alabama on Thursday, finishing third overall out of a 24-manned event.

Thursday also saw senior runner Andrew Daedler end his successful Biola career early in the meet by failing to make it out of the prelims by positioning 17th overall while clocking in at 4:00:09 in the men’s 1500m event.

Prelims for the 4x800m relay also took place on the first day of competition. With standout senior runner Anika Gasner forced out of the lineup after feeling under the weather, sophomore star Lyndee Dawson stepped in and helped the historically fast relay team qualify for the main event. The lightning quick quartet also featured sophomore Hannah Hunsaker, senior Kellian Hunt and senior Alisa Murray.

Relay’s day of glory

Friday was a day of glory for the Eagles’ women relay team. Gasner was healthy enough to compete in the final and the fast four claimed supremacy. Biola finished first overall in the event — Biola’s best ever finish in the 4×800. In addition to the school’s best ever finish, the team also clocked in a record time of 8:57, shattering a record set last year at 9:03.

Biola’s exhilarating performance paced the field by finishing six seconds ahead of the next closest team in an eight-team field.

historic best finish

On Saturday, the Eagles grabbed four All-American Honor finishes. First off, in the 3000m steeplechase, Dawson yielded a second place finish in the field of 14 by finishing with a 10:42 time. Sophomore Stephanie Croy also competed and earned an All-American honor with her eighth place finish in the steeple. To round out the field of Biolans in the steeplechase, freshman Emily Ransom capped off a successful first year as an Eagle with an 11th place finish in the event.

Star veterans Hunt and Gasner closed out the weekend and season for the Eagles with a positive performance. After dominating the prelims for the 1500m, the senior duo decreased their times in the final. Gasner finished ninth in the field of 11 to end her extremely successful Biola career. Hunt garnished another All-American Honor with her fourth place finish in the 1500m event. The honor was Hunt’s third of her dominating weekend, which marked the end of the road for the decorated senior.

Though the men did not place, there were strong performances by the Eagles’ women, Biola was able to hone their craft all the way to a sixth place overall finish in the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Championships — a historic best for Biola’s fledging athletic program. The women finished with 32 points total in a field that featured 65 other schools from across the nation.

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