Tabor teems with track talent

These seniors will provide a solid core for the Tabor College track and field team this season:?front row (from left), Alex Grier, Brielle Lund, Makenzie King, Kristen Harris, Phillip Magos; (back row) Nathan Vogel, Tyson Brockel, Robert Nenadal, David Loewen, Paul Williams, Jonathan Gutierrez.The Tabor College outdoor track and field program, under the guidance of 14th-year coach Dave Kroeker, has returning talent on both the men?s and women?s teams this year.

Men?s team

The Bluejays, who finished second among 10 teams at the KCAC meet last year, features a solid core of experienced athletes.

Junior Garrett Daugherty returns as the KCAC champion in the 1,500 meters. He also runs the 800, as well as participates on the 4×800 and 4×400 teams.

?Garrett has a great shot to win both the 1,500 and the 800 this year at the KCAC meet,? Kroeker said.

Daugherty comes into outdoor competition after a successful indoor season. He was named an NAIA All-American after placing seventh in the 1,000-meter run at the national indoor meet last month.

Daugherty also found success at the KCAC indoor meet.

?He won the 1,000-meter and the mile run and anchored the winning 4×800 and 4×400 teams,? Kroeker said.

Junior Joel Allen will be a force in the 5,000 and 10,000 races. He won the 5-k at the KCAC indoor meet and has already qualified for the outdoor national meet in the marathon.

Senior Alex Grier will contribute in the 100, 200 and 400 as well as participate on the 4×100 and 4×400.

?Alex was the conference indoor champion in the 200 and has a great shot to win it outdoors as well,? Kroeker said.

Senior Robert Nenadal will anchor the throws in hammer and discus after being the runner-up behind teammate Michael Klaassen in the hammer last year.

Senior Nathan Vogel enters the outdoor season after sustaining an ankle injury in January.

?Nathan, if healthy, is one of the fastest 800-meter and 400-meter men in the KCAC,? Kroeker said.

Newcomers to the men?s team include freshmen Josiah Oyebefun (100, 200), Caleb Blue (400) and Josh Richert (800).

The men?s team should be strong in the middle distance races and sprints, Kroeker said, adding that the team will not be as strong in the jumps.

Kroeker is optimistic about this year?s conference finish.

?The Tabor men were only 20 points from first indoors, and we should be stronger outdoors,? he said. ?(We) have a good shot at a title if we can stay away from injuries and can perform well when the time comes.?

Women?s team

The Bluejay women feature several talented returnees. Tabor finished third of 10 at the KCAC outdoor meet last year.

Senior Brielle Lund will contribute in the 1,500 and 5,000 races.

?Brielle has just been a consistent performer in the distance and mid-distance races all four years she has been at Tabor,? Kroeker said. ?She has already qualified for the 2014 NAIA outdoor national meet in the marathon.?

Senior Kristen Harris brings talent to the pole vault and the 400-meter hurdles this spring.

?Kristen was the KCAC indoor champion in the vault and the 600-meter,? Kroeker said.

Junior Hannah Holmes will run the 10,000.

?Hannah is really coming on in the longer distances and should do very well in the longest race on the track,? Kroeker said.

She has also qualified for the outdoor nationals in the marathon.

Newcomers to the team are freshmen Katey White?sell (5,000), Ashton Kroeker (triple jump, high jump) and Sarah Hagen (400).

Although the women?s team is smaller in number this year, Kroeker expects the team to exhibit strength in the distance races, pole vault and 400-meter hurdles.

Other KCAC schools with strong men?s and women?s programs are Southwestern, Friends and McPherson, Kroeker said.

Tabor will compete Saturday at Hutchinson Community College.

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