GENEVA, Ohio — Day one of the 2013 NAIA Track and Field Championships has come and gone with the three Lee University relay teams falling short of qualifying for their event finals.
The women’s 4x800 meter relay was the first event for the Lee runners. Storyie Miller, Jessica Childers, Emily Arnesen and Cayce Bryan set a new school record and finished just over one second out of the top eight with a time of 9:25.25. The time was just over one second behind Davenport University (9:24.21) for the eighth and final spot in Saturday’s final and the designation of NAIA All-American.
Miller was the leadoff leg and posted a personal best 2:20 in the first 800 meters. Childers also set a personal best of 2:20. Arnesen’s third leg time was 2:28 and Bryan recorded a 2:13 mark in the final 800 meters.
"The women's 4x800 meter relay team was ranked 22nd coming into today’s events,” said Lee head coach Caleb Morgan. “Placing ninth and three girls running personal bests was very exciting. I am pleased with the way our women ran and couldn't have asked for better performances."
The men’s 4x800 meter relay followed the women’s event. Justin Knuth ran the first 800 meter leg in 1:59.8 and Adam Gullette posted a 1:58.2 in the second leg. John Trollinger and Adam Christensen brought the Flames home with times of 1:58.8 and 2:02.4, respectively. The overall time of 10:07.82 put Lee in 13th.
“I was very pleased with the men’s 4x800 as they all ran personal bests,” said Morgan. “They are all freshmen, with the exception of Adam Gullette. Having national championship experience as freshmen is something that will pay off for us in the long run.”
The final event of the day for the Lee runners was the men’s distance medley relay. Terris Elliott started the race with a 3:08 mark in the 1,200-meter leg. Brad Davis finished his 400 meter leg in 48.8 seconds. Emmanuel Kipchumba then ran the 800-meter portion of the medley relay in 1:55.9 and Mike Walker brought things home for the Flames with a 4:13.6 mile.
The overall time of 10:07.8 put the Flames in 12th place, just over two seconds from qualifying for the final, and beat the previous school record by 14 seconds.
“The men’s distance medley ran an amazing race,” added Morgan. “Any other year this team would have made the final and earned NAIA All-American honors. We are very pleased with what we did. Everyone on the relay team ran huge personal bests.”
Day two of the national championship schedule will see Davis in the 60-meter dash and 200m semifinal races, Bryan in the 800-meter run and Walker in the 3,000 meter run.