Huntington University sophomore Joel Sanders and freshman Lucas Beach both finished fifth in their respective events at the NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships and earned NAIA All-America honors as a top six finisher.
Sanders, an elementary education major from Fort Wayne, Ind. (Snider High School), competed in the 1000 meter run at the National Championships for the second time in as many years. He entered this year's race seeded 11th of 21 runners with his qualifying time of 2:31.18 in the event. In the prelims, Sanders came up with a personal record (PR) with his time of 2:29.30 to qualify for the event finals. But, he was just getting warmed up as he sprinted to yet another PR in the finals, crossing the finish line in fifth place with a time 2:28.62. His time marked the fourth time that Sanders has broken his own school record in the 1000 m this season.
Beach, a Bible and religion and physical education double major from Lucerne, Ind. (Pioneer High School), followed a path similar to the one Sanders took. He entered the shot put event also as the 11th-seed with his qualifying mark of 51' 11.25". On his second of six attempts, Beach came up with his own PR, a toss of 53' 2.25", to secure another fifth place finish for HU and his first All-American honors.
Three other Foresters participated in the National Championships and gained valuable experience competing against the top runners in the NAIA.
Cody Hannie, a junior English education major from Fort Wayne, Ind. (Snider High School), ran in the 800 meter event. He finished 20th with a time of 1:58.35.
Nick Johnson, a freshman exercise science major from Huntington, Ind. (Huntington North High School) made his first appearance at the National Championships. He competed in the 3000 meter run and was 26th with his time of 9:02.86.
Jill Roughia, a freshman history education major from Bryant, Ind. (Jay County High School), was the lone female qualifier for the Foresters. Roughia placed 20th in the 1000 meter run with a time of 3:11.53.
The Forester track and field teams are coached by Tom King. For complete results of the Championships, visit www.naia.org.