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Foresters compete in 112th annual Little State Championships

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UPLAND, Ind. – Competing at the 112th annual Little State Championships hosted by Taylor University over the weekend, the Forester women claimed 7th out of 15 teams while the HU men finished 11th. Little State is made up of Indiana schools from NAIA, NCAA Division II and Junior Colleges.

Junior Nicole Pennington was Huntington’s big point-getter. In addition to earning 11 points in sprints – taking 3rd in the 100 meters (12.84) and 4th in the 200 meters (27.22) - she also anchored two relay teams that finished in the top five for the Foresters.  

She along with Samantha McCoy, Michelle Kelsey and Molly Mitchell ran to a 5th place finish in the 4x100 meter relay by clocking in at 50.93. Pennington, McCoy and Mitchell teamed up again, this time with Aspen Dirr, to claim 4th in the 4x400 meter relay with a time of 4:21.96.

The 4x800 meter relay team of Dirr, Bianca Tisdale, Kelsey Graber and Rachael Smelser also earned points for the Foresters by posting a 5th place finish by turning in a time of 10:58.58.

HU registered seven points in javelin as Paige Coolman (107-2) and Brooke Saylor (100-5) finished 4th and 7th respectively.

Other point getters for HU included Mitchell in the 400 meters (6th, 1:03.11) and Kelsey in the triple jump (4th, 32-0.25).

The University of Indianapolis took home the women’s title with 180 points followed by Indiana Wesleyan (156), Marian (98), Taylor (95), Vincennes (65), Bethel (40), HU (39), Grace (33), St. Joseph’s (28), Trine (22), Indiana Tech (14), Anderson (10), Saint Francis (10), Indiana East (9) and Goshen (5).

On the men’s side, Avniel Barrow sprinted to a 4th place finish in the 100 meters (11.22) before teaming up with CJ Robertson, Bradey Gerke and Adam Woods to finish 8th in the 4x100 meter relay (44.15).

Robertson and Bradey Gerke went on to run the 4x400 meter relay along with Elston Jones and Michael Bowman to claim 7th with a time of 3:29.10.

The 4x800 meter relay team of Bowman, Jones, Codi Wiersema and Nick Childs also earned points for Huntington by crossing the line 7th in 8:16.94.

Brooks Gerke enjoyed 4th place in javelin with his toss of 150-9. Austin Willey rounded out HU’s scoring with his 9th place finish in the 3,000 meter steeplechase by clocking in 10:18.49.

The University of Indianapolis also claimed the men’s title with 119 points followed by Vincennes (98), Bethel (96), Taylor (95), Marian (90.5), Indiana Wesleyan (82), St. Joseph’s (64), Grace (48), Goshen (37), Indiana Tech (32.5), HU (16), Indiana East (16), Anderson (10), Trine (8) and Saint Francis (1).

Coach Childs’ crew is back in action on April 29 to compete in Grace College’s Lancer Invitational.

The Huntington University Foresters compete in 17 intercollegiate sports for men and women. In the past decade, Huntington has produced 38 NAIA All-America honors and 254 All-America Scholar Athlete honors. Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S. News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest.