Weather increases track’s reign
The Biola track and field team traveled to Claremont, Calif. on April 9 to participate in the Pomona-Pitzer Invite. The rainy weather did not slow the team down as five runners earned either A or B qualifying times for the NAIA Outdoor National Track and Field Championship.
Outrunning the weather
“Personally, I love racing in overcast weather,” said senior Andrew Daedler. “It was just barely drizzling with no wind so the conditions were perfect for me. Later on in the day, the rain came down pretty hard and a lot of our team had to deal with that, but most of them still competed very well.”
Daedler finished ninth in the men’s 1,500 meter run. His time of 3:52.10 is three seconds faster than his previous personal best and also earned him an “A” qualifying time for nationals. This finish makes Daedler the first runner from the men’s team to qualify for nationals this season.
“I was placed in the fastest heat of the day and was able to hang on to the back of the pack as they set a hard pace,” Daedler said. “With a lap to go, I passed everyone I could and used everything I had left in me. I knew that if I hung on to the pack during the middle laps, I would be able to run a good time. Besides that, my training has been very consistent the last few months and Coach Henning has prepared me well with the training plans and workouts that he's written.”
The women’s team added four events to their national qualifying list. Senior middle distance runner Anika Gasner earned an “A” qualifying time in two events during the Pomona-Pitzer Invite. Gasner’s first qualification came from finishing sixth in the women’s 800 meter run with a time of 2:13.84. Her time of 4:36.01 in the women’s 1,500 meter run was fast enough for qualification, but she already earned a nationals spot with her 4:35.88 finish in the 2016 Pomona-Pitzer All-Comers Invite on Feb. 20.
Biola’s other two qualifiers included senior middle distance runner Alisa Murray and sophomore distance runner Hannah Hunsaker. Murray earned a “B” qualifying time after finishing eighth in the women’s 800 meter with a time of 2:14.67. Hunsaker finished 21st in the women’s 1,500 meter, landing her on the “B” qualifying list with a time of 4:42.43.
“The team did great this weekend,” Daedler said. “We had a lot of strong performances and many personal bests and national qualifying marks. I'm proud of everyone and so incredibly thankful for the gift of being on the team for one last season. This team is so uplifting and Christ-like. I love them.”
The Eagles now have a combined 15 events on the national qualifying list, and look to add to that number during the Mt. San Antonio College Relays hosted by Cerritos College, the Byron Clay Invite hosted by Azusa Pacific and the Long Beach State University Invitational. All three meets take place on the weekend of April 14-16 and will be the team’s last competitions before the Golden State Athletic Conference Championships starting on April 28.