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Gerke wins heptathlon at inaugural Crossroads League Invite

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MARION, Ind. – The Forester track and field team competed in the inaugural Crossroads League Invitational hosted by Indiana Wesleyan University over the weekend where the women claimed sixth and the men finished eighth.

Senior Brooks Gerke claimed ten of HU’s 29 points by winning the heptathlon. He finished with 4,515 points to not only top his league peers but also rank 11th nationally which will likely earn him a spot at the 2017 NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships. His weekend also included a record-breaking performance in long jump as his leap of 6.81 meters broke the school record.

Bradey Gerke finished fourth in triple jump with a mark of 11.71 meters while Michael Bowman and Luke Fillers each brought home a sixth place finish in the 600 meters (1:25.47) and pole vault (3.70 meters) respectively.

Codi Wiersema crossed the line seventh in the mile by posting a PR time of 4:30.61 which also earned him the tenth spot in the HU record books. Huntington’s other points came by way of seventh place finishes in three relays, the 4x400 (3:40.42), 4x800 (8:53.65) and distance medley (11:41.73).

Indiana Wesleyan claimed the men’s title with 157.5 points followed by Marian (141.5), Taylor (135.5), Grace (95), Spring Arbor (62), Mount Vernon (40.5), Goshen (37), HU (29) and Saint Francis (9).

Senior Christiana Hicks brought home the Forester women’s only top finish in triple jump with a winning mark of 11.25 meters. Michelle Kelsey also earned points in triple jump by finishing sixth with a leap of 9.47 meters.

Kelsey claimed points in two other field events which included fourth in high jump (1.47 meters) and sixth in long jump (4.79 meters). Her leap in long jump is good for a tie for seventh in the Huntington history books.

For the fourth straight meet, Jean Donaldson established a new personal best in weight throw. She posted a toss of 14.96 meters this weekend to earn a second place finish.

Aspen Dirr shaved nearly five seconds off of her PR in the mile by running a 5:25.54 to claim fifth and move up a spot to sixth in the HU history books. She also ran to a sixth place finish in the 3,000 meters by crossing the line in 11:19.64.

Nicole Pennington also earned points in two individual events by sprinting to sixth in the 60 meters (8.19) and seventh in the 200 meters (27.27). Her time in the 200 meters is the sixth fastest time in Forester history.

Samantha McCoy ran a personal best of 1:02.34 in the 400 meters to earn eighth place at the meet and land the No. 6 spot in the HU record books. The 4x400 meter relay team (4:31.91) and 4x800 meter relay team (10:57.03) rounded out points for Huntington.

Indiana Wesleyan took top honors with 181 points followed by Taylor (162), Marian (113), Spring Arbor (113), Grace (54), HU (47), Mount Vernon (37), Goshen (31) and Saint Francis (5).

The Foresters will wrap up the indoor portion of their season on Saturday by competing in the Fred Wilt Invitational hosted by Anderson University.

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.