ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
With eight athletes competing, Tabor College was well represented at the NAIA National Track and Field Meet held May 27-24 at Fresno, Calif.
“I thought we had a good showing at nationals,” coach Dave Kroeker said. “Nationals is just another level of competition that seems to get better every year.
“But it was a great reward for those kids, and we had a lot of fun driving out there,” he added. “That’s the cool thing about coaching at Tabor College-when you take your team someplace, you never have to worry about them and the way they conduct themselves.”
Caleb Stanton set a school record in the 400-meter race with a time of 48.69 seconds and qualified for the semifinals.
“Anytime you run your best race of the year at nationals, that’s a good thing,” Kroeker said.
Trent Voth, the KCAC champion in the 110-meter hurdles, ran a preliminary heat in 15.88 while teammate Brian Lightner crossed in 15.39.
Lightner, the KCAC champion in the 400-meter hurdles, ran his preliminary heat in 56.16.
Matt Rorabaugh, the KCAC champion in high jump, cleared 6-feet, 6-inches at the national meet while Doug Pierce soared 47-1 in triple jump.
Tabor’s 4×400 team of Lightner, Jeff Anenson, Stanton and Mike Beach didn’t qualify for the nine-team finals, but ran the 13th-fastest time at nationals at 3:19.38.
Tabor’s lone female athlete at nationals, Ashley Malcolm, placed 13th in triple jump with a season-best leap of 37-8.
“This is by far the most athletes we’ve ever taken to nationals,” Kroeker said. “We had a good group of senior guys that are really going to be missed next year.”
Looking ahead, Kroeker said prospects are in place for another great season.
“We’ll have the best women’s class I’ve ever recruited coming in next year,” he said. “For the men, I’m more tied to other sports, so we depend on athletes from football, basketball and other sports.”