After traveling to Storm Lake for the BVU Open this past Saturday, the Raider track and field team left with 10 first-place finishes by meet’s end. Both the men’s and women’s teams took first collectively among the nine teams competing in the contest.
For the men’s side of the squad, the 4×800-meter relay team of Skyler Giddings, Logan Hovland, Elliot Johnson and Kyle Anderson crossed the line first with a time of 7:43. Not only did that time meet the NAIA auto-qualifying mark, but also is the top time in the nation for that event. Hovland gave the distance crew another solid performance after taking the top spot in the 1000-meter with a time of 2:34.22. Head Coach Scott Bahrke said this of the 4×800 crew.
“They showed that they are determined to win a national title this year,” Bahrke said. “They ran with a purpose and showed how hard they have been working.”
The men’s side of the throws crew also had an impressive outing with freshman Cody Bauman (first) and sophomore Derrick Hurt (second) outperforming all other competitors in the shot put.
The women’s side of the team continues to be fierce competitors from week to week with this past meet being no exception.
Senior Karen Ettleman got things started on Friday afternoon with a first-place finish in the pentathlon after collecting 3,648 points. Ettleman’s performance met the NAIA auto-qualifying mark and currently sits her second overall in the nation.
Junior Abby Stevens finished second in the pentathlon behind Ettleman and finished the meet with 2,946 points.Freshman Katie Landhuis, senior Megan Walhof, sophomore Jana Vermeer and junior Lauren Spranger broke the tape first in the 4×400-meter relay with a time of 4:04, which met the NAIA provisional mark. Landhuis also won the 800-meter and recorded a career-best time of 2:18.09. She also met the NAIA automatic mark in the event and has now qualified in three events.
Spranger (58.12) and Walhof (59.27) placed second and third in the 400-meter. Spranger’s time met the NAIA auto mark while Walhof’s met the provisional standard. Jahdai Dunk finished ahead of the pack in the 60-meter dash with a time of 8.04 while teammate Kendra Van Meeteren won the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 9.43. Lydia Steenhoek won the pole with a vault of 9-05.75 and Savannah Clapper took the top spot in the weight throw with a toss of 46-06.25.
“The ladies distance crew is running with more confidence now and doing a better job of competing,” Bahrke said. “Our sprinters continue to improve on their starts and also how they run the 200 meter dash.”
The squad splits up this weekend as some athletes travel to Saint Paul, MN to compete in the Gene Glader Classic at Bethel University. The rest of the team heads back to Buena Vista to compete in the Dennis Young Invite.