ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
Battling wind gusts of more than 50 mph, the Tabor College women’s track team breezed to the championship of the Associated Colleges of Central Kansas Track Meet at Bethel College in North Newton Wednesday.
The women beat the host team by 34 points, 159 to 125, to win the title. Bethany was third with 87, followed by Kansas Wesleyan with 54, McPherson 52 and Sterling 23.
The Tabor men, meanwhile, finished second to Kansas Wesleyan, 144 to 125. Bethel was a close third with 1231/2 points, followed by Bethany with 93, Sterling 591/2 and McPherson 17.
Tamara McCarren, Stephanie Graber and Karen Shearer were the only Tabor women to win their individual events.
McCarren outdistanced the javelin field by five feet with a toss of 101-101/2 and won the shot put with a throw of 37-101/2. Graber won the pole vault by clearing 6-6, and Shearer broke the tape in the 3,000 meters in a time of 13:26.47.
The Bluejay 4×100, 4×400 and 4×800 relay teams all won, but against minimal competition. Tabor ran against only one team in the first two relays and none in the last.
The Tabor men, meanwhile, were strongest in the distance events.
Landon Goertzen won the 800 meters in 2:11.91, Kevin Nickel won the 3,000-meter steeple chase in 11:43.20 and the 5,000 meters in 19:27.79, and Jeremy Jost won the 10,000 meters in 39:20.62.
Those were the only first-place performances for the men.
“I was very pleased with the gutsy performances by both the men’s and women’s teams,” said coach Dave Kroeker.
“This was one of two meets during the year-the other being the KCAC meet-that we really try to focus on scoring as many points as a team as possible instead of trying to focus on individual performances in the athlete’s favorite events,” he said. “I was quite pleased with how everybody contributed to the teams’ success at Bethel.”
Tabor will host its own invitational meet today. Their next meet will be April 28 at Sterling.