NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships

May 27, 2021 9:23am

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The 2021 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships got underway Wednesday in Gulf Shores, Ala.

The Northwestern College men's 4x100 relay competed in the prelims, running in the fourth heat (section), the team of Daniel Strand, Cody Post, Braden Jahn and Jake Davies placed sixth with a time of 41.66, 19th fastest overall (top eight make finals). Four teams from their section advanced to Friday's final.

Allison Birks ran a personal best in the 200m and is in 11th place overall in the first day of competition in the heptathlon. Birks, through four of the seven events, is in 11th place overall with 2,667 points, just 27 points out of eighth place, heading into Thursday's final three events. The senior finished 10th in the 100m hurdles, tied for 10th in the high jump, 11th in the shot put and concluded the day with a personal best in the 200m (26.03 - 7th place). Morgan Luedy (Cornerstone) is the overall leader with 3,032 points.

Thursday's schedule for Northwestern track and field athletes:

10:30 - final three events of heptathlon for Allison Birks (long jump, javelin and 800m)

2:30pm - Shot Put (Becca Bindert)

2:30pm- James Gilbert Jr. - Long Jump

8:35pm - Dylan Hendricks - 5000m Prelim

Both of the Dordt women’s and men’s 4×800 teams survived the prelims to make the finals to be run on Thursday.

The women’s 4×800 of Bethany Ten Haken, Anmarie Stuit, Annika Rick and Mika Kooistra ran the fastest time in the prelims with a 9:09 and they won heat two. Wayland Baptist, the team that ran right behind the Defenders, was disqualified at the conclusion of the race.

The men’s 4×800 of Anthony Ghiorso, Trey Engen, Cole Zevenbergen and Payton Mauldin ran a 7:39 in heat two and qualified as the second team out of the heat. Grand View ran a 7:32.43 to win the first heat and has the fastest time in the prelims.

Jacob Vander Plaats earned a spot in the finals of the 1500 to be run on Saturday. Vander Plaats ran a 3:59.35 in the 1500 meters and finished seventh in heat two and claimed a spot in the 12-runner finals with the ninth best time in the prelims.

The men’s 3000 meter steeplechase prelims were canceled and will be run as a final event on Saturday and Taylor Anema finished the day in the 10,000 meters where she ran 39:11 and finished 17th. .

Competition resumes on Thursday, when Matthew Van Eps begins defense of his 2019 800 meter championship with the prelims in the event.