The Red Raider track and field team had an impressive outing Saturday at the Wartburg Open held in Waverly, Iowa. Both the men’s and women’s teams finished second overall among four teams competing in the contest. There were a combined seven first-place finishes collected by the Raiders and both sides totaled 19 top-three performances.
“I felt our athletes came ready to compete,” said Head Coach Scott Bahrke. “The track was fast and our runners took advantage of it.”
On the women’s side, junior Lauren Spranger took the top spot in the 400-meter with a time of 59.02, meeting the NAIA national provisional mark. Freshman Katie Landhuis led the way in the 600-meter finishing with an NAIA auto-qualifying time of 1:36.39. Topping off the women’s first-place performances was junior Abby Stevens, who leaped her way past all other competition in the long jump with a jump of 4.86 meters.
Top finishers for the men’s side included junior Elliot Johnson, who placed first in the 600-meter with a time of 1:23.07. Senior Skyler Giddings broke the tape first in the 800-meter with an NAIA auto time of 1:55.54, while teammate sophomore Will Norris took the top spot in the 3000-meter finishing the race in 8:55.04. Just behind Norris in the same event was junior Caleb VanderBaan, who recorded a time of 9:13. Rounding off the meet was the men’s 4×400 team of senior Scott Strand, Johnson, junior Kyle Anderson and freshman Levi TeBrink, who took first in the final race of the day with a time of 3:23.82.
Four athletes from the squad traveled to Mankato, Minn to compete in the Minnesota State Multi and Open. Senior Jordan Strofaci out-performed all others in the heptathlon after collecting 4,702 points by the end of the day. Strofaci’s first-place finish also met the NAIA auto-mark in the heptathlon and he currently sits in first place in the NAIA for the event. Junior Noah Hollinger finished the meet in the eight spot with a combined 3,659 points. Sophomore pole-vaulter Zach Gelineau finished eighth out of 20 competitors with a vault of 4.18 meters.
The NW teams will compete in the BVU Open this weekend, Jan. 30 and 31, in Storm Lake, Iowa. Competition begins with the multi-events starting at 5 p.m. Friday with all other events being held Saturday starting at 8:30 a.m.