Five Warrior student-athletes get a chance to compete at nationals, as the Waldorf men’s and women’s track and field teams will be well represented at the NAIA National Championships this week.
A trio of men’s distance runners will race on Saturday in the marathon at nationals, while women’s distance runner Marissa Kuik, and thrower Peyton Russell, each will be in action Thursday in the 10,000 meters and javelin, respectively.
Headed to nationals from the Warrior men’s team are Nic Ganzeveld, Nathan Meiners and Andrew Murley.
For Russell, a senior, the trip is the second straight to the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships. Russell finished 14th in the nationals at last year’s NAIA meet with a throw of 129-7.75. This year, Russell qualified No. 22 in the country with a season-best throw of 129 feet, 9 inches.
Also making their second straight trip to nationals are Meiners and Murley who both qualified for the marathon, once again, qualifying with a top time in the half-marathon this season.
Meiners finished 38th in the marathon last spring in 3 hours, 24 minutes, 51.80 seconds, while Murley ran, but did not finish the marathon.
Murley qualified with the 36th-fastest time in the half-marathon this year, clocking a time of 1:12:44, while Meiners qualified with the 58th-fastest time in the half-marathon of 1:13:57.
For Murley, the trip to nationals is also his second of this academic year as he joined Kuik and Ganzeveld in qualifying for the NAIA Cross Country National Championships in Portland, Ore., back in November.
Ganzeveld, the North Star Athletic Association champion this spring in the 5,000 meters, qualified for the NAIA national marathon with the 33th-fastest time in the half-marathon, as he ran a time of 1:12:35 in that event earlier this season.
The trip is also the first for Kuik to outdoor nationals, but like Ganzeveld, it’s her second of the academic year as the NSAA Champion in cross country ran in Portland, Ore., back in November at cross country nationals, as well.
Kuik, who won the NSAA championships in the 3,000 and 5,000 meters during indoor track and field, and won the NSAA titles in the 5,000 and 10,000 during outdoor track and field, qualified for nationals in the 10,000 meters with the 19th-best time in the country of 37:51.60.
The NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships will be held Thursday through Saturday, May 24-26, at Mickey Miller Blackwell Stadium in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
Russell will get things started for the Warriors as the javelin throwers compete at 3 p.m. (CT) on Thursday.
Kuik also competes Thursday, running the 10,000 meters, which starts at 7:50 p.m. (CT).
Ganzeveld, Meiners and Murley wait until Saturday to race as the marathon starts at 6 a.m. (CT) that morning.