The Northwestern indoor track and field national qualifying athletes competed at the Indoor Track and Field Championship over the March 5-7 weekend at SDSU.
The individual qualifiers included freshman James Gilbert in the long jump, sophomore Justus Adams in the 60m hurdles, senior MacKenzie Keune in the 600m and 60m hurdles and senior Breanna Harthoorn in the 1000m run. Three of the four NW athletes finished in the top eight and claimed an All-American title.
Gilbert placed third among 20 athletes in the long jump during his debut national performance with a personal record jump of 7.27 m. His mark was also a school record for NW. Coming into the competition, he had the seventh-best mark out of the national field and had placed second in the 2020 GPAC Championship meet.
Adams missed the top eight by a mere 10th of a second, finishing 13th in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.26 seconds. In the semifinal on Friday, March 7 he put up the fourth-fastest time in heat four but missed out on qualifying for the final. Adams was seeded 11th in the event with a time of 8.18 seconds, his personal best and NW’s school record, which he set at the 2020 GPAC Championship meet.
Keune placed sixth in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.85 seconds, within 0.2 seconds of the winning time. In the 60m semifinal, Keune placed seventh, finishing with a time of 8.81 seconds. In the 600m semifinal, Keune clocked a time of 1:43.5 to finish 15th in the event, missing out on qualifying for the final by eight seconds.
Harthoorn placed 5th in the 1000m final with a season-best time of 2:55.99. Harthoorn also ran her second-best time of the season in the preliminaries, a 2:58.84, which ensured her qualifications for the 1000m final. This was her second All-American title in the 1000m, her first being won in 2018.
Head coach Scott Bahrke praised the national qualifiers’ performances.
“It was a fun weekend with our Red Raider Nationals crew. All four athletes gave 100% and performed to the best of their abilities. It is always fun to have three All-Americans and set two school records!” said Bahrke.
“I was really happy for Bre and Kenzie, two seniors who have put in so much time and energy to track and field. Both have had to battle back from severe injuries to compete again. They showed that they are able to compete at the highest level. We were blessed at the Indoor Championships.”
The meet marked the official close to the 2020 indoor track and field season.