That’s a wrap on the indoor season and a soon to be beginning for the outdoor season. First a quick recap of indoor nationals!
On the men’s side, the trip started with a heartbreaking miss in the distance medley relay. To qualify for finals a team either had to finish in the top 2 in their heat or get in by time. By the final leg it looked like the Yotes didn’t have much of a chance for qualifying as they were 50 meters back. Max Hampton slowly chipped away at the lead and eventually took it with 100 meters to go. The Yotes ended up finishing third in their heat, and missed the qualifying second spot by .003 seconds. Regardless of the outcome, it was a great experience for the team of Austin Fred, Joseph Bolin, Dylan Walker and Max Hampton and will hopefully give them the momentum the men’s team is looking for in the outdoor season. It wasn’t all a series of near misses for the men’s team. Two days later Max Hampton ran in the 3,000m. In one of the most spastic, pace changing races the NAIA has ever seen, Max kept his composure for an 8th place finish.
The women’s side it kicked off early with Tiana Thomas in the pentathlon and the women’s distance medley relay. Tiana finished with a new school record of 3,346 points in the pentathlon and fifth place finish, but as is typical with the multi events she knew there were more points left in the field. Shortly after the Tiana’s stellar pentathlon performance the distance medley relay kicked off. The women competed in dominant fashion blowing open the field early and easily qualifying for the final. Day 2 of the national meet was about punching tickets to the finals the following day. Tiana Thomas and Amy Pfaff both took care of the job in the 600m and 1,000m respectively. Just missing the final in the open 400m was Nichole DeGrange.
The final day of nationals brought a slew of All-American honors for the women’s team as Amy Pfaff, Tiana Thomas, and Lila Klopfenstein all finished third in their respective events (1k,600m,3k). Ruth Lewinksi also showed promise for the outdoor season as she placed seventh and earned All-American status. Another third place finish came from the women’s distance medley relay to wrap up the meet for the lady Yotes. Hayley Morse competing in her first national championship meet lived up to expectations and gained valuable experience in the shot put as she just missed qualifying for finals by 11 cm.
Phew….. Hope you were able to keep up with all the numbers just thrown your direction! Basically the crew competed in typical Yote fashion. Coming up this Saturday (3/19) the whole crew makes a short trip to Hermiston for the Eastern Oregon Team Challenge. The meet features a competition of semi local schools such as Eastern, NNU, & TVCC. The scoring format takes the top 2 finishers from each school in each event through 12 places and counts points toward total team points. The total points are added together for a combined men’s and women’s program. The following week a small group of decathletes and heptathletes will stay local and compete at NNU for their first rust buster multi-event of the season. The meet will kick-off on Thursday (3/24) at noon and conclude Friday (3/25).