By Loretta Gamboe, Staff Writer
ANKENY, Iowa— The Faith Eagles track and field team is looking forward to a great season this year as they return several talented athletes and welcome a few new competitors as well.
Last year, the men's team set five new school records and made it to the NCCAA National Championships. Jacob Kirkwood, who returns as a senior this year, led the team to a 15th place overall finish, placing third in the shot put and fifth in the discus. Kirkwood also received NCCAA All-American honors last year.
Other returners to the men's team include Jacob Stillwell, Ryan Hughes, and Evan McKinney—a senior who narrowly avoided qualifying for nationals last year. Junior Tanner Van Beek, another returner, will look to build off his 17th place finish at nationals last year where he threw javelin and achieved a personal best of 40.54m.
"Several of the newcomers to the team this season have quality track experience in their background which will really help contribute to the team this season and going forward," said Sauser.
This year's schedule is comparable to years past, and the team will not have to travel far to any of their meets. The Eagles have their work cut out for them as they prepare to face NAIA and NCAA DIII schools throughout the season before concluding the year with the NCCAA Championships at Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana.
"I always look forward to seeing the progress that many on the team will make as the season progresses, watching the hard work pay off," said Coach Sauser. "I think there are several on the team with a chance to have some really good performances this season."
The Eagles have their first meet of the season this Saturday at the Buena Vista Invitational in Storm Lake, Iowa.