Our Raiders track and field team hosted the Red Raider Open on campus on April 9-10. Northwestern won eight titles and recorded 54 top-10 finishes.
The women won four titles at the home meet. During this two-day multi-event track meet, senior Allison Birks placed first in the heptathlon with 4152 points, the top point total in the GPAC and fifth best in the NAIA to date. Senior Morgan Van Der Brink won first in the 800m run, with 2:20.8, which is the fifth fastest time in the conference this season. Freshman Katlyn Wiese placed first in the 5000m run, which she ran at 20:04. The women’s 4x100m relay won with 49.97 seconds, with Raider’s sophomore Lizzy Blum, senior Jada Marco, sophormore Caitlin Ostbye and Birks.
For our women field events, senior Rebecca Bindert placed second in shotput and discus. Freshman Kaylynn Ridgely placed second in high jump at 1.54m.
The men also won four titles at home and recorded 30 top- 10 finishes. Sohpomores James Gilbert Jr. and Lorenzo Jones, and freshman Jacob Davies swept long jump, placing first, second and third, respectively. Gilbert Jr. placed a season-best in long jump at 7.28m, which is the top mark in the GPAC and fourth best in NAIA to date. Gilbert Jr. and Jones won the title of first and second in triple jump. Sophomore Aaron Shephard placed second in high jump, with 1.9m.
On the track, sophomore Joseph Kunert won the 5,000m run with 15:45. Freshman Bryce Paulsen won the title in the 400m hurdles, with 56.39. After a very competitive race to the finish line, the men’s 4x100m placed second.
NW hasn’t hosted the Red Raider Open since 2019, so head track and field coach Scott Bahrke was set to prepare for the meet to run smoothly. Considering that they didn’t have an outdoor season in 2020, Bahrke was eager to host the meet.
“I had forgotten all of the small details that needed to be done in order to run a smooth meet,” Bahrke said, “and while there were some late nights, it was worth it so our athletes could compete with an audience.”
During the indoor track season this year, track meets were only composed of the athletes and coaches – no crowds or audience.
With only two meets left in the outdoor season before the GPAC championship, Raiders are tirelessly working on getting qualifying marks to make the GPAC conference. Bahrke and the track and field team continue to persevere and continue to improve each day, and Bahrke prays that “God will continue to bless us with the opportunity to use our gifts at practices and meets.”