Outstanding athletes compete on campus
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Westmont Track and Field has historically been a strong program, but it is not every day that Warriors get to compete at the California-Nevada Championship.
A handful of top Westmont track and field members travelled down to UC San Diego in La Jolla to compete in the prestigious event.
Despite the Warrior athletes only competing in a few events, their impact was dramatic, especially accounting for the size of Westmont College.
Elysia Hodges, a third-year student, set a new school record passing her previous record by nearly half a second in the 400 meter hurdles. Hodges’ achievement is even more remarkable due to the fact that she was the only NAIA runner in the field, and finished 1.4 seconds faster than the next nearest NAIA runner.
Similarly, the 4 x 400 team beat the previous record set by Westmont’s team last year. The team was composed of second-years Bryan Avendano, John Nealon and Tyler Moore, and third-year Christian Hatchett.
The team finished second in the event, but broke the previous Westmont record by 0.14 seconds. The team will remain unchanged for the next year and a half, as no members are graduating.
Shane Rowan, a third year, competed in the triple jump and while he did not place, the experience competing at a high level will help in the GSAC Championships approaching at the end of the month.
Similarly, Ben Kingsley, a third year, attended the California-Nevada Championship with the hopes of placing and gaining experience against top competitors before taking on the GSAC Championship.
Meanwhile, back on campus, world-class athletes were competing in the Sam Adams Combined Events Invitational. Not only did local talents compete along side the Westmont athletes, but two national track and field teams, hailing from Brazil and France, took part in the invitational.
The female French team members swept the javelin throwing competition with Antoinette Nana Djimou winning with a throw of 43.50 meters, Marisa De Aniceto placing second with 42.56 meters and Laura Artiel placing third with 42.47 meters.
In the women’s heptathlon “B” group, Westmont’s Becky Collier, a first-year, won and claimed the highest score of any NAIA athlete this season with 4,824 points. Collier broke her personal record by 543 points and beat Sarah Skipper of Santa Barbara Track Club by only 33 points.
Westmont’s Kristan Holding, a second-year, set a new personal best accumulating 4,338 points, which was good for fifth place.
In the decathlon “B” group Ben McCollum, a third-year from Westmont made 5,942 points, which was good for second behind Drayke Jackson from Sacred Heart University.
Bradford Ortlund, a second-year, also placed in the event, finishing 5th in the decathlon “B” group, with 5,751 points.
Kyle Kemper a third-year also placed in the group “B” decathlon event.
The next track and field meet is at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational on Saturday April 12, which will be the teams last meet before the GSAC Championships on April 25-26.