BROOKINGS, S.D. – Midland University’s track and field team sent five competitors to the NAIA Indoor National Championships this past weekend, and those five individuals more than took advantage of their moments on the big state.
Each Warrior placed in the top 15 and represented Midland extremely well in five events. Those finishes eared the men’s team an impressive seventh place finish out of over 70 schools represented in Brookings over the weekend.
“Nearly simultaneously, we felt all the emotions of track and field,” commented head coach Daniel Gerber. “The final throw that could have knocked Kucera and Sabata out of the top two spots was a foul. At the same time, Jose Gonzalez lost his grasp of 8th place in the 1000, finishing 9th, one spot out of being an All-American.”
Sophomore Dylan Kucera led the way for Midland and emerged victorious in the men’s Shot Put event with a finals throw of 17.74 meters. Behind him was Midland teammate, senior Seth Sabata, with a 17.27 meter toss to complete a 1-2 sweep at the top of the leaderboard.
Kucera (18.83m) and Sabata (18.36m) also finished 4th and 5th, respectively, in the men’s Weight Throw event.
Freshman Jose Gonzalez also put together a solid performance as he placed ninth in the men’s 1000 Meter Run. Gonzalez’s time of 2:31.95 came in less than a second behind the fifth place time from Campbellsville’s Sam Kiser as the final five competitors battled all the way to the line.
“Gonzalez ran a strong race, and was in the middle of the pack for most of the 1st 800,” said Coach Gerber of the race. “At 200 to go, he surged to take 7th place, but was unable to hold on and was passed over the final 100m.”
Freshman Kylee Edmonds also found success and placed in a tie for 10th place in the women’s Pole Vault event with a vault of 3.57 meters while freshman Ross McMahon came home in 14th place in the men’s High Jump (2.01m). Both competitors were less than a meter shy of their respective event winners.
Each of the five competing Warriors ended their indoor seasons on high notes and gave the program plenty of confidence moving into the outdoor portion of the schedule, which will get started on Friday-Saturday, March 20-21, at the Wes Kittley Invitational in Abilene, Texas.