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Men finish 4th, women take 5th at Spartan Invite

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NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. - The dreary weather didn’t hamper the Forester track and field teams from having a great showing at the Manchester University Invitational Thursday afternoon where the men finished 4th with 71 points while the women took 5th with 53 points.

Jake Nash headlined the day by earning his third trip to the NAIA National Championships in high jump compliments of his first place 6-8 performance. Nash not only punched his ticket to nationals but became the fourth Forester in program history to register a school record leap of 6-8.

The Foresters brought home two other top finishes in field events. Brooks Gerke claimed first in pole vault with a PR mark of 14-01.25 while Kai Foday wrapped up first place in javelin with his toss of 143-00.

In sprints, Wyatt Jones had a great outing in the 200 meters to finish first in 22.10, a new PR that gives claim to the fifth fastest time in HU history. He also took third in the 100 meters in 11.57.  

The 4x400 meter relay team of Jaden Kreft, Scott Skiles, Chris Reed and Phil Holliday ran a great race to earn third place in 3:29.67.

Other point getters for Huntington included Jacob Davis in the 200 meters (4th, 23.20), Holliday in the 400 meters (4th, 52.14), Codi Wiersma in the 1500 meters (5th, 4:14:47), Reed in the 400 meter hurdles (4th, 1:00.57), Stephen Kays in the 3000 meter steeplechase (5th, 11:04.24), Kreft in long jump (4th, 20-04.50) and Nick Miller in shot put (4th, 42-02.50).

Grace won the men’s title with 144 points followed by Spring Arbor (123), Cornerstone (89), HU (71), Goshen (61), Manchester (52) and Defiance (42).

For the women, Allison Amstutz had a breakout day in shot put and hammer. The Berne native (South Adams HS) shattered her previous PR by four feet in shot put with a winning toss of 42-04.25, the second longest throw in Forester history. She also established a new personal best in hammer with a heave of 128-10, demolishing her old PR by over nine feet, to claim fifth at the meet and fourth in the HU record books.

Courtney Baker also found a spot in the HU records by clocking in at 1:00.54 in the 400 meters to take second at the meet and eighth in the record books. She also posted a second place finish in the 200 meters in 27.79. In other sprint action, Samantha McCoy (13.2) placed fourth in the 100 meters and Nicole Pennington (28.47) finished fifth in the 200 meters.

Christine Sparks had another excellent 800 meter race where she finished second in 2:23.37. The 4x100 meter relay and 4x400 meter relay teams rounded out HU’s scoring by finishing third in each race with respective times of 50.83 and 4:12.20.

The HU men’s and women’s distance runners took a different approach to the meet as they each dropped down a distance to work on faster tempo to prepare for the end of the season.

Cornerstone claimed the women’s title with 204.50 points followed by Manchester (92.5), Grace (84), Spring Arbor (60), HU (53), Goshen (50) and Defiance (34).

The Foresters are back in action on April 10-11 for the Little State Championships at Indiana Wesleyan.  

The Huntington University Foresters compete in 16 intercollegiate sports for men and women. In the past decade, Huntington has produced 38 NAIA All-America honors and 222 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.