The Northwestern Track and Field team competed in the South Dakota State University Invite held last weekend in Brookings, S.D.
The last regular season meet before the GPAC conference meet was one of its largest meets of the year for the squad. The Red Raiders recorded eight top-10 finishes, including one first place victory from the men’s 4×800-meter relay crew.
“The track was a positive factor for most races. With wider curves and less laps, most athletes ran season bests if not career bests,” said Head Coach Scott Bahrke. “It was an advantage for us to run on a 300-meter track, especially since the NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championships take place on one.”
The men’s 4×800-meter relay crossed the tape first with a time of 7:39.7, just 0.23 seconds in front of the home team, SDSU. The men’s 4×800-meter relay members include senior Skyler Giddings, senior Logan Hovland, junior Elliott Johnson and junior Kyle Anderson.
“It was exciting, too, for our men’s team to win the 4×800 meter relay,” Bahrke said. “We beat SDSU, an NCAA Division I program, and the men that ran on that relay team currently has the fastest time in the NAIA.”
The mens’ distance medley team of freshman Hans Epp, freshman Aaron Lemon, junior Ryan Weitgenant and freshman Tim Rose ran together for the first time last weekend and finished third in the event. The team’s time met the provisional qualifying mark with a time of 10:21.
“I was happy with how our mid-distance and distance men ran multiple races well over the 2-day meet,” Bahrke said. “That was great practice for nationals in March.”
Rose also met the NAIA national automatic qualifying standard in the mile, crossing the tape in eighth place with a season-best time of 4:18.7.
On the women’s side of the team, senior Megan Walhof and freshman Katie Landhuis led the women’s team with a pair of top-10 finishes. Walhof placed 10th in the 400-meter with a time of 58.6 and finished seventh in the 600-meter finishing the race in 1:35.9. Landhuis collected a pair of ninth-place finishes in the 600-meter, running the race in 1:36.4, and again in the 800-meter in 2:18.3.
NW will head to Seward, Neb., to compete in the GPAC Indoor Championships on Feb. 20-21. Events on Friday will begin at 1 p.m. and will resume on 9 a.m. Saturday.
“I am looking forward to watching several personal records this weekend,” Bahrke said. “We will have to be ready to compete, because the GPAC is probably the deepest it has ever been. It will be fun to watch the Red Raiders compete and give it their all as they glorify God with the gifts He has blessed them with.”