NAIA National Championship
The Dordt Defenders had a banner day at the NAIA National Track and Field Championship by sweeping the 4x800 relay events.
The Dordt women clocked a 9:06.54 in the early evening to beat their nearest competitor by nearly 2.5 seconds. Bethany Ten Haken and Anmarie Stuit each ran 2:17 and Annika Rick responded with a 2:16 on the third leg and Mika Kooistra put the race away with a 2:14 to give the Dordt women the relay championship.
The Defender men followed and defended their 2019 title with a time of 7:30.55 two win the event by over two seconds. Anthony Ghiorso ran the first leg in 1:56 and gave to Trey Engen who clocked a 1:53 split. Payton Mauldin and Matthew Van Eps had carries of 1:51 and 1:49 to take the lead and hold on. For Van Eps it was his fifth national title in both indoor and outdoor individually and on a relay.
Earlier in the day Van Eps locked up a spot in the 800 finals on Friday with a time of 1:51.91 as he took second in the final heat of three.
Emma Bakker ran the open 400 and finished 11th in the prelims with a time of 57.2 and won’t compete in the finals.
Also running in the prelims but not making the finals was Davis Tebben in the 5,000 where he ran 15:20 and finished 29th in the field.
The women’s 4x400 of Anmarie Stuit, Bakker, Rick and Kooistra will run in the finals on Friday after recording a time of 3:49.49 and got in with the fourth place finish in heat one.
The men’s 4x400 was met with disappointment as they ran the eighth fastest time in the race but won’t make the finals as the runner-up finisher in another heat will get in the finals with a slower time. Luke Wagner, Cole Zevenbergen, Micah Brands and Payton Mauldin ran the four laps in 3:14.31 and Mauldin ran the anchor leg in 47.2.