ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
The Tabor College Invitational welcomed a strong field of NAIA and junior college teams on a blustery day when wind gusts exceeded 45 mph and wreaked havoc with many events.
When the dust settled, the Bluejay women stood atop the 12-team field with 98 points, followed by KCAC rival Southwestern.
The men nearly duplicated the feat, but placed second with 95 points. Cowley County won with 115 points.
On the women’s side, the following Bluejays won their events: Angela Jost, the 1,500-meter run in 5 minutes, 9 seconds, and the women’s 4×800 team of Karen Patton, Shannon Kroeker, Becky Jons and Jost which won in 10:32.03.
Also contributing high finishes were Christine Van Doren, third in the 100 meters (13.54); Jost, third in the 800 meters (2:32.11); Rachel Evans, third in the 100-meter hurdles (15.39); Lahna Daugherty, second in the 400-meter hurdles (1:14); and Mandi Janzen, third in high jump (5 feet even).
Tamara McCarren qualified for the NAIA national meet in the discus with a throw of 148-61/2, breaking her own school record by more than seven feet.
McCarren also placed third in the shot put (39-61/4) and broke her own school record in the hammer throw with a toss of 125-9.
Individual champions for the Bluejay men included Landon Goertzen with an 800 meters time 1:59.63 seconds; Kevin Nickel, who won 3,000-meter steeplechase in 10:00, Pete Richert who won the 1,500 in 4:16.47, and the men’s 4×400 team of Brian Lightner, Richert, Jeremiah Randall and Goertzen who won in 3:30.16.
Other notable performances included Nickel’s third-place finish in the 5,000 meters (16:57.9), Ryan Sperling placing second in the steeplechase (11:00), Brian Lightner finishing second in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles (58.62), and Brent Brockmueller throwing the hammer for a third-place finish (149-6).
“All in all it was a great meet for both teams with very stiff competition,” coach Dave Kroeker said. “I thought we competed very well on the track and in the field.
“We had a number of personal-best performances in very windy conditions and that speaks well of where we are going into the final weeks of the season,” he added. “We will be gearing up for the KCAC meet at Friends in a couple of weeks, and are starting to peak at the right time.”
Tabor’s next meet will be Saturday, when the Bluejays travel to Winfield for the Southwestern Relays.