By Loretta Gamboe, Staff Writer
GRINNELL, Iowa--The Faith Eagles made the most of a beautiful day at the Dick Young Classic with several new personal bests that led to three more athletes qualifying for nationals and national rankings. The men reached a new team record for the most points scored in a regular season meet with 43.50.
Freshman Chelsea Ratliff continues to improve with every meet. Ratliff won the 400m dash with a time of 1:01.67, which qualifies her for the NCCAA National Meet and is the eighth fastest time in the NCCAA this season. Ratliff also finished third in the 200m.
Senior Jacob Kirkwood dominated the field events with a first-place finish in both the shot and the discus. He threw a season-best 14.44 in the shot put, which is the sixth-best throw in the NCCAA, and a career-best 47.83 in the discus, the top-ranked throw in the NCCAA.
Junior Tanner Van Beek qualified for the NCCAA National Meet with a season-best 45.28m javelin throw, resulting in a second place finish for the meet. This throw ranks 8th in the NCCAA.
Sophomore Sam Pedersen was the third Eagle to qualify for the NCCAA National Meet. In his first meet competing, Pedersen took fourth place in the high jump, clearing a height of 1.86m (just over 6"1').
Several other Eagles also made new personal bests. Senior Evan McKinney ran a season-best 1:02.53 in the 400m hurdles and sophomore Jacob Stillwell improved his personal-best in the 400m with a 56.37 finish. Junior Ryan Hughes ran a personal-best 4:33.28 in the 1500m. Freshman Josiah Brown ran the 3,000m steeplechase for the second time in his career and finished fourth with a time of 10:40.04, more than 14 seconds faster than his previous run.
Coach Jordan Sauser was pleased with how the team's hard work is paying off and says that it was a great day overall for the team.
The Eagles have two more meets left before the NCCAA National Meet. They will compete this Thursday and Friday, April 25-26, in the Kip Janvrin Open in Indianola, Iowa, before finishing the regular season at the Dr. Tucker Open in Dubuque, Iowa on Friday, May 3.