Flashing the hardware

This past weekend, March 8-9, Loras Track & Field was able to showcase the best of the best, as members of the team headed to Boston, MA, to compete in the NCAA Division III Track & Field National Championships. The Duhawks qualified 14 members for Nationals, including junior Elyse Acompanado, junior Lexi Alt, first-year Elayna Bahl, junior Terrianna Black, first-year Mike Jasa, senior Esther Johnson, first-year Stevie Lambe, junior Patrick Mikel, junior Tyson Morrison, junior Gabby Noland, sophomore Ryan Rogers, sophomore Kassie Rosenbum, first-year Josh Smith, and senior Bella Solis. With the top 20 in the nation qualifying for each event, you know these athletes were going to give it their all for, not only an All-American berth, but a chance of becoming a National Champion as well.

The women’s team poses for a picture after two days of preliminary races and events only to move on to finals which deemed them worthy of a fourth-place finish.

Friday was day one of competition, with Rogers competing first in the men’s heptathlon. Overall, Rogers showed his capability of being an all-around athlete, shining in events such as the long jump, 60-meter hurdles, and pole vault. When all was said and done with competition the next day, Rogers finished 4th overall with 5049 points and claimed the status of All-American. Continuing with day one, sprinters Noland and Mikel both cemented their place in the finals for the following day with impressive performances in their respective events. Nolan qualified for the 60-meter & 200-meter dash, while Mikel looked to defend his indoor title in the 400-meter dash from a season ago. After all was said and done, Saturday saw Noland grab 2nd in the 60-meter & was named 2019 indoor 200-meter champion. Mikel was also impressive, as he repeats as the 400-meter dash champion, making him a two time National Champion in his collegiate career.

Finally, after both 4×400 meter relay teams qualified for the final round, Saturday proved to be a test of will and determination, as both teams had the chance to capture first place in their respective divisions. Starting off on the women’s side, it was neck-and-neck throughout the race, but Nebraska Wesleyan pulled away in the final 50 meters, capturing the title and seeing Loras women take second in the event. Then, men saw Mount Union take home the first place trophy, but still finished in the third place spot with a time of 3:16.28.

As a team, the women’s finished fourth overall at the NCAA Division III Track and Field Indoor National Championships with a total of 26 points. The men finished eighth overall at the meet and deemed five All-Americans in the 4×400 meter relay and the 400m dash. Overall, this past weekend proved to be, not only a fantastic showing for Duhawk Track and Field, but one that will never be forgotten by these athletes.

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