Tigers Take the Lead into Final Day
The Tiger track and field teams rolled up points in the team standings on Friday afternoon in Marion, Indiana, with All-American performances. Doane will take the team standings lead into the final day of action on Saturday. The men currently have 45 points compared to Concordia (Ore.) 24.33 points while the women lead a congested field with 25 points and Oklahoma Baptist in second with 23.75 points.
The multi-events opened the day with five athletes earning finishes in the Top 8.
In the women's heptathlon, Erin DeVries led the way for the Tigers with a third place finish and 4,716 points. Jillian Ourada was fourth overall with 4,691 points and Karissa Blank took sixth with 4,531 points.
DeVries and Blank made big pushes on the second day of the two-day competition after slow starts on the first day of action. DeVries propelled herself with the day's opening event, the long jump. She posted the best jump and cleared a mark of 18-03.25 in the event to post 720 points in the event.
"I felt different today," DeVries said. "I was very nervous yesterday but today I was just able to let it all go. The long jump gave me a lot of confidence the rest of the way."
The Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) dominated the podium on Friday when five of the eight All-Americans crowned with from the conference. Doane placed three with Dordt's Brianna Vander Woude winning the championship and Concordia's Lydia Pomerenke taking seventh.
"It was pretty awesome to be up there with GPAC schools represented," DeVries commented. It shows how hard we work in practice and push each other throughout the year."
Possibly topping the heptathlon efforts was that of the decathlon competitors. Rob Keeney broke his school record as he claimed the NAIA National Championship. Teammate Kale Wolken placed third in the decathlon.
Keeney finished with 7,195 points and entered day two with a two-point deficit to overcome. Wolken totaled 6,972 points in the championship.
"The (110m) hurdles were key today and gave me a lot of confidence," Keeney said. "I set a personal best by a significant amount. This feels pretty darn good and is a big relief."
He said he didn't feel outside pressure to win the event but had pressure on himself, as he wanted to pull the rare feat of winning the indoor heptathlon and outdoor decathlon in the same season.
The time and hard work paid off for Keeney and as of now, he plans on going for a repeat next year at the outdoor championships. Keeney missed the 2012 outdoor season with an injury and has a medical red-shirt season available for next year's outdoor campaign.
Wolken followed up his decathlon efforts with a fourth place finish in the long jump with a leap of 23-11.75.
Zack Lindsley and Vince Krejci posted All-American finishes in the discus on Friday afternoon. Lindsley posted a second place finish with a throw of 180-10 and Krejci was sixth with a throw of 161-05.
Sandrae Farquharson broke the school record in the women's 400m dash as she ran a time of 55.27 in the prelims. Finals are on Saturday.
Allycia Myers took seventh in the triple jump with a mark of 38-09.00.
In action on Thursday, the opening day of the national championships, Doane earned points on both sides in the field events. Lindsley placed fourth in the hammer throw and Ben Wolfe took fifth in the javelin for the men. The women received a sixth place finish from Karmen Lawver in the javelin and an eighth place finish from Blank.
Action resumes on Saturday with Lindsley going for a rare feat. He will compete in the shot put and attempt to earn All-American honors in three events in the same championship.