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Kearin Leaps to GSAC Long Jump Title

Warriors qualify for NAIA championship in long jump, triple jump, 10,000 meters and race walk.

Sophomore Kasey Kearin won the Golden State Athletic Conference women’s long jump championship, and several members of the Westmont track and field team qualified for the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at the GSAC championships at Azusa Pacific.

"Kasey is the first women’s long jump GSAC champion in Westmont history," head coach Russell Smelley said. "She also set the school record by jumping more than a foot farther than she had before."

After fouling on her first two attempts, Kearin jumped 5.23 meters (17 feet 2 inches) to qualify for the finals. On her second jump in the finals, Kearin nailed 5.80 meters (19 feet one-half inch) to claim the win. The mark is good enough for automatic qualification in the national championships. Kearin also posted an automatic qualifying mark of 11.49 meters (37 feet 8.5 inches) in the triple jump, where she placed third.

Also earning an automatic qualification was Andrew Dixon in the men’s 10,000 meters with a time of 31:46.57 and a second-place finish.

"Andrew ran his best time and competed quite well," Smelley said. "It was his best performance ever in a Westmont uniform in a championship situation."

Competing in the 3,000-meter race walk was Westmont freshman Megan Wong. The only competitor in the event, Wong turned in an automatic qualifying time of 16:40.5 (hand-timed). Wong beat her own school record of 16.51, which she posted last March at the NAIA Indoor National Championships, earning All-American honors with a third-place finish.

"Megan walked outstandingly, by herself, in difficult conditions, having played a concert last night in Santa Barbara and then driving out to Azusa," Smelleysaid. "The race walk officials were lavishing their praise for the cleanness of her walk. They had not seen anyone young like her walk that well in many, many years."

Wong was cheered on not only by her teammates, but also by other GSAC teams.

Westmont competitors posted two provisional qualification times at the GSAC Championships — Lorin Milotta and the men’s 4x800 relay team. Milotta finished fourth in the 100-meter women’s hurdles with a time of 14.94 while the men’s relay team finished third with a time of 7:51.73.

"Lorin ran her personal best, the first time under 15 seconds," Smelley said. "With a good start, I think she can still pick up the automatic qualifier. The men’s 4x800 relay ran an excellent race. With 200 meters to go, the three leading teams were still within a stride of each other. It was a fantastic race. With three freshmen and a senior on the Westmont team, I was very pleased."

The men’s team was comprised of freshmen Nathan Kemp, Jacob Goodin and Eric Williams and senior Ryan Kraft.

Another freshman who turned in an impressive performance was sprinter Isaac Hayes, who completed the 100 meters in 10.90 seconds and the 200 meters in 22.36 seconds.

"Isaac ran the 100 for first time under 11 seconds," said Smelley. "He scored two medals, third place in the 100 and fourth in the 200 meters. He ran a very nice leg in the 4x100 and handled two good handoffs. And he led off the 4x400 relay. He had a very big weekend."

Placing second in the 800 meters was Williams with a time of 1:57.11.

"Eric ran a wonderful 800," Smelley said. "He took the lead at 200 meters left to go and only Corey Botma of Point Loma was able to pass him. It was a heady run and a good tactical run."

Also exceeding their coach’s expectations were freshman Peter Drevets in the men’s javelin (44.08 meters, 144 feet 7 inches) and a trio of women’s hammer throwers.

"Peter Drevets had a seven-meter PR in the javelin, a beautiful throw," Smelley said. "He cleaned it up all of the sudden and scored for us. In the women’s hammer, we had three in the finals, which was impressive. Erica Stetz took fourth (37.49 meters, 123 feet), Alison Sharp was fifth (36.93 meters, 121 feet two inches) and Kiersten Thym was ninth (27.81 meters, 91 feet three inches).

Smelley also was pleased with the performances of his three freshmen multievent athletes. In the men’s decathlon, Anthony Campbell placed fourth with 5,169 points and Hans Henson claimed fifth with 4,858 points. In the women’s heptathlon, Roslyn Wolfshordl placed sixth with 3,482 points.

"Our two decathlon young men were outstanding, much improved since their first performances," Smelley said. "Anthony had a personal-best 12 feet 5.5 inches in the pole vault. Hans had a 10 feet 10 inches personal best. Roselyn had a personal best in six of the seven heptathlon events."

In addition to the performance marks, Smelley was pleased with his team’s attitude and effort, especially given the temperatures in the mid-90s.

"It was the end of a very difficult week, academically, for all of them, and exams are coming up next week," Smelley said. "The team handled themselves beautifully. There was no grousing, just a positive attitude everywhere. It was fun to watch and be around their attitude and their support for each other."

Ron Smith is Westmont College‘s sports information director.

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