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Track & Field

Westmont Track and Field Enjoys Successful First Day at National Championships

Becky Collier (left) and Kristan Holding hurdling during Thursday’s NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships.
Becky Collier (left) and Kristan Holding hurdling during Thursday’s NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships. (Westmont Sports Information)

Day one of the 2016 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships consisted of five personal records and an All-American honor for the Westmont Men’s and Women’s Track and Field team.

Becky Collier and James Asselin each earned a personal record – Becky in the 100 meter hurdles, and James in the high jump; and Kristan Holding earned two personal records – one in the 100 meter hurdles and one in shot put. Additionally, Madison Herrera received All-American honors when she placed third in the long jump.

The meet began with the first five events of the decathlon and the first four events of the heptathalon.

Asselin represented the Warriors in the decathlon and finished the first five events in 13th place with 3,169 points.

Asselin placed 15th in the 100 meter dash with a time of 12.19 seconds, placed 11th in the long jump with a mark of 6.14m (20-1.75), placed third in shot put with a mark of 11.56m (37-11.25), tied for third in high jump with a mark of 1.94m (6-4.25), and placed 15th in the 400 meter race with a time of 54.75 seconds.

Tomorrow, Asselin will compete in the final five events of the decathlon – the 110 meter hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, and the 1500 meter race.

Collier and Holding represented the Warriors in the heptathlon and ended the day in first and second place. Collier finished in first place with 3,006 points – 76 points ahead of her day one total from last year when she earned All-American honors; and Holding finished tied in second place with 2,903 points – 154 points ahead of her day one total from last year when she finished 12th.

Collier and Holding set the tone for the day in the first event when they each earned a PR in the 100m hurdles – Collier placed second with a time of 14.94 seconds, and Holding placed third with a time of 14.95 seconds.

The momentum from this race rolled over into high jump as Holding earned another PR with a height of 1.67m (5-5.75) to finish tied for second place. Collier finished in first place and tied her current PR of 1.76m (5-9.25).

In shot put, Collier finished in 12th place with a mark of 9.85m (32-3.75) and Holding finished 8th with a mark of 10.33m (33-10.75).

“Both of them have had their best first days ever,” head coach Russell Smelley said. “They have just been very focused, relaxed and have been having fun so they just need to continue that tomorrow.”

In the final event of day one of the heptathlon, Collier finished 11th in the 200 meter race with a time of 27.05 seconds and Holding finished 14th with a time of 27.31 seconds

Tomorrow, Collier and Holding will compete in the final three events of the heptathlon – long jump, javelin, and the 800 meter race.

The next events of the day for the Warriors were the women’s and men’s 1500 meter trials. The top 12 runners were taken from each of these races to race in the finals.

For the women, Jessica Meyers placed 18th with a time of 4:39.45 – 4.03 seconds from qualifying for finals. For the men, Evan Kramer placed 22nd with a time of 4:17.53 and Nathan Evans placed 14th with a time of 3:57.15 – just 1.29 seconds away from qualifying for finals.

Next up, was the women’s 4x800 meter relay. Janna Jensen, Ceci Adams, Taryn Phipps, and Jessica Meyers each ran a leg of the race and the relay team finished in 15th place with a time of 9:28.14 – the team did not advance to the finals.

Three Warriors competed in the men’s Javelin – Joseph Miller, Peter Zippi, and Dan McCollum. Miller finished 14th with a mark of 55.21m (181-2), Zippi finished 16th with a mark of 54.76m (179-8.25), and McCollum finished 20th with a mark of 50.34m (165-2.25).

Sophomore, Madison Herrera  finished the day strong and earned All-American honors when she placed third in long jump with a mark of 5.64 (18-6). Herrera placed third with a mark that was less than her PR and she was only one half of an inch away from the second place mark.

“It feels great,” commented Herrera. “All I wanted to do when I came out here was be an all American, so really it is just great that I got to be here.”

Tomorrow, Asselin will finish up the decathlon beginning at 10:00 a.m. (CST); Collier and Holding will finish the heptathlon beginning at 10:30 a.m.; and Ceci Adams, Madison Herrera, Taryn Phipps, and Karlie Storkson will compete in the trials of the 4x400 meter relay at 7:45 p.m.

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