The Panther men and women’s track and field teams had a great turnout at the NCCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships over the weekend in Cedarville, Ohio. Surrounded by strong athletes and Christian men and women, the men came away with a third-place team finish and the women in a respective fifth, which makes the hard work throughout the cold winter months all worth it.
The two-day meet started out Friday night with a third-place finish in the weight throw from senior Chris Crawford. Jeremiah Davis won his heat of the preliminary round of the men’s 60-meter dash to punch a ticket to Saturday’s final, in which he placed fourth.
The men and women’s distance medley relays were, perhaps, the highlight of day one of competition. The women’s team of Hannah Williams, Alyssa Comer, Sheridan Noll, and Kori Nesbit placed third in a season-best 13:47. The men’s team of John Mangold, Jackson Pierce, Collin Kessinger, and Dylan Goodyear came away from the meet with second place medals around their neck after an exciting second-place finish.
The men’s 4×200 meter relay of Davis, Di’Mond Salmond, Alex Fink, and Mahari Holt also finished second in a time of 1:32.09.
Sydney Porter and David Martin ended the night with strong competition in the pentathlon and heptathlon, respectively. Porter was in fourth place going into the last of her five-event day — the 800-meter run. Teammates lined the inside of the track to cheer her on to run a season best 2:47.73, which bumped her into second place. Porter later posted on Instagram photos of the weekend and a caption that reads, “I am completely blessed to have such a supportive group of people surrounding me. This weekend I finally accomplished one of my biggest goals — placing at NCCAA’s!” it continues, “The pentathlon isn’t easy but I am incredibly grateful, thankful, and blessed to be able to experience accomplishments like this with some of my best friends and so many other wonderful people.”
Despite a rough start to the season due to a hamstring injury, Martin competed fearlessly in the heptathlon on Friday and Saturday. He came away from his final indoor Christian Nationals with a silver second place medal and his head high, looking forward to outdoor season that is to come.
The highlight of day two of competition came from the shot put ring, where Mitchell Hooten and LC Washington became NCCAA national champion and runner-up, respectively, with throws of 14.95 meters and 14.80 meters. Spectators watched with tears in their eyes as teammates embraced, celebrating a successful four years of competition together.
Returning to the track, the women’s 4×800 meter relay of Noll, Williams, Sabrina Favela, and Comer finished third in an extremely close race. The same goes for the men’s 4×800 meter relay of Kessinger, Kaleb Carlson, Pierce, and Mangold, in which they finished in 8:10.67.
One of two NCCAA national champions, Jeremiah Davis ran 22.15 seconds to edge out the rest of the field in the 200-meter dash.
The Panthers have continued to prove themselves early this track season. The hours spent in the gym and barn, cold runs in rain and snow, and many throws on the rec floor have benefitted athletes tremendously in starting the 2019 season out strong.
They round out the regular indoor season next weekend, February 22-23 at the SLIAC Conference Invitational at Principia College.
Media by Emily Hogue.