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Sparks punches her ticket to nationals at the DePauw Classic

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GREENECASTLE, Ind. - Christine Sparks became the second Forester women’s track athlete to punch her ticket to the NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships. She hit the provisional mark in the 1,000 meters by posting a third-place time of 3:03.83 at the DePauw Indoor Classic on Saturday.

Allison Amstutz was Huntington’s top point getter with 16 points. She took second in shot put (11.59 meters) and weight throw (13.36 meters). Her toss of 13.36 meters was a new personal best.

Two of her teammates also registered personal records in the weight throw. Paige Coolman earned fifth with a PR throw of 12.36 meters while Jean Donaldson claimed sixth with a PR toss of 11.53 meters.

Christiana Hicks earned the women’s only top finish of the day in triple jump where she registered a mark of 11.20 meters.

Other point getters included Shana Christian in the 400 meters (6th, 1:02.47), Gretchen Pyper in the 3,000 meters (6th, 11:14.74), Natalie Spahr in the 5,000 meters (5th, 19:44.64) and Rosie Ditzler in the 5,000 meters (7th, 19:57.14).

Bellarmine claimed the women’s title with 181 points followed by DePauw (122), Taylor (99), Birmingham-Southern (61), Cumberlands (54), Huntington (50), Butler (27), Indianapolis (5) and Berry (5).

Jaden Kreft scored 12.5 points to pace the HU men. He established a new PR in long jump with a leap of 6.33 meters to finish second and climb one spot to No. 6 in the Huntington record books. He also finished in a tie for fourth in high jump with a mark of 1.79 meters.

Jake Nash took top honors in high jump by clearing 2.06 meters. Brooks Gerke was the only other Forester to earn points in a field event. His leap of 4.20 meters earned him seventh place in pole vault.

Eric Baker clocked a winning time of 2:49.22 in the 1,000 meters for the men’s second first place finish of the day. Antonio Castillo ran a PR of 2:00.82 in the 800 meters to move from eighth to seventh in the HU record books and claim sixth on Saturday.

Other point getters include Philip Holliday in the 400 meters (6th, 53.02), Michael Bowman in the 600 meters (5th, 1:30.00) and Jonathan VanDuyne in the 600 meters (7th, 1:34.60).

Wabash won the men’s title with 203 points followed by Taylor (101), DePauw (95), Cumberlands (84), Huntington (62.5), Bellarmine (37.5), Lindsey Wilson (25), Birmingham-Southern (22), Butler (17) and Indianapolis (3).

Next up for the Foresters is the Fred Wilt Indoor Invitational at Anderson University slated for Saturday at 3 p.m.

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.