WINONA LAKE, Indiana—The Faith Eagles Track and Field team completed a fine season last weekend with two athletes participating in the NCCAA National Championships at Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana.
Despite battles with nagging injuries for both Jacob Kirkwood (discus and shot put) and Tanner Van Beek (javelin), the two finished strong in their respective events at Nationals.
Kirkwood finished fourth in the nation in the discus with a throw of 46.63 meters, but an injury to his throwing hand held him back in his best event, the shot put, where he finished 14th.
Van Beek has been nursing an injury to his back, which flared up again during the javelin throw. According to Coach Sauser, many of Tanner's throws during the regular season would have placed him in the top ten at the National Championships, but his injury prevented him from throwing his best last week.
Kirkwood, Van Beek, and Sauser spent several hours Wednesday evening at Bethel Baptist Church in Pierceton, Indiana sharing testimonies and enjoying a time of fellowship prior to Thursday and Friday's championships. Coach Sauser was pleased with the overall attitudes of his two athletes, despite the injuries both were struggling with.
The week before the National Championships, both the men and women finished up their regular seasons at Loras College in Dubuque with their finest performances of the year. Many of the Eagles athletes had the finest performances of their career.
The nicest weather of the season allowed the entire Eagles team to show how far they've come this season, with nearly every event resulting in personal bests and all except three resulting in career bests.
- Abbie Blomberg improved her 800-m best by almost 4 full seconds running 2:45.37.
- Laura Christensen set a new career best in the 200-m with a time of 30.28.
- Rebecca Reinertson capped-off her senior season and four-year track and field career at Faith with her best performances of the year in all three of her events: 200-m (29.59), 400-m (1:08.73), and javelin (23.08-m).
- Evan McKinney had a career-best time in the 400-m hurdles with a mark of 1:01.73.
- Ryan Hughes lowered his personal best in the 1,500-m for the fifth meet in a row running 4:42.42.
- Tanner Van Beek had a personal best in the javelin throwing 48.66-m which moved him to the 3rd best throw in the NCCAA this season and placed him 2nd at the meet.
- Jacob Kirkwood set a new personal best in the discus with a throw of 46.89-m, which placed him 2nd in the event.
Coach Sauser was thrilled with how the season ended but sad to say goodbye to three of his senior girls: Abbie Blomberg, Rebecca Reinertson, and Laura Christensen. Sauser is excited about the future of the men's program in particular with, potentially, every athlete returning for next year.