Pixel Tracker

Tuesday, November 20 , 2018, 12:55 pm | Fair 68º

Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
Santa Barbara Athletic Round TableThe LabAmerican Riviera Bank
Track & Field

Westmont Athletes Finish Strong at NAIA Track & Field Nationals

Michael Oldach finished second in the men's 1500, Emily Parks placed third in the women's 400 meter hurdles and Seth Wilmoth claimed third place in the men's pole vault for Westmont on the final day of the NAIA Track & Field National Championships in Gulf Shores, Ala.

As a result of the points garnered by Oldach and Parks, Westmont men's team finished eighth in the team scoring out of 115 teams. The Warriors tallied 26 points to claim their best finish in program history.

The women's team collected 17 points to tie for 19th place with South Carolina Beaufort. There were 105 women's teams represented at the championship event.

Oldach shaved 1.66 seconds off his previous best performance to finish as the national runner-up. At the end, the sophomore was closing in on Mackenzie Wahpepah-Harris of Oklahoma City in first place but missed catching him by 0.19 seconds.

"It showed a lot of growth in one year," said Westmont head coach Russell Smelley, "Last year he ran a personal best here, but not a competitive best. This year, he came in focused, ready to compete well and he did."

Said Oldach: "I wasn't too pleased with the way I ran. After the first lap, I kind of got boxed and pushed into a position around sixth or seventh. I made a nice little move on the third lap coming home and got into a better position. 

"We've been working on my speed and strength all year long. So, I had the strength to bring it back home and the speed to almost get the guy. I think I had a little more, so I am a little frustrated with the way I ran, but it was a good race."

Parks  secured a personal record, knocking 1.40 seconds off her previous best time and crossing the finish line with a time of 60.38 seconds.

"To have a personal best by over a second is fantastic at the national meet," said Smelley. "She kept right on the pace she should have, kept her composure on the turn and fought for the home stretch."

Said Parks: "I knew from the start that I was going to have to get out faster than I have been getting out and be more aggressive in the beginning of the race. "I struggled a little bit on the back stretch with a few stutters and felt a little discouraged. I have a good kick and at the 150 (meters to go), I could see the other runners were fading. I was just trying to keep my eyes on the finish line and hunt down the runner that was in first."

Wilmoth missed his first attempt at the opening height of 4.50 meters (14-9) and did not miss again until after he had set a new Westmont record of 4.90 meters (16-0.75). The vault made the freshman the first Westmont vaulter to clear 16 feet. The record-setting vault gave him a third place finish in the national championship.

"It feels so good," said Wilmoth. "Coming in here, I was really shooting for the school record of 4.87 (meters). Clearing 4.90 was my main goal. I wanted to be All-American. I wasn't sure what that was going to look like height-wise. First priority was 4.90. Having my teammates up there supporting me is incredible. Having them all be here and staying and watching was really cool. It's a great way to end the year." 

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >