The 4x800 meter relay team of Adam Gullette, Terris Elliott, Emmanuel Kipchumba and Mike Walker finished fourth in their race, but eclipsed the NAIA A qualifying time of 7:56.96 with a mark of 7:53.79. Even with the time adjusted due to track size, theirs was the ninth-fastest time in the NAIA this season.
Finishing ahead of the Flames were relay teams from UNC-Wilmington (7:39.74), Virginia Tech (7:40.04) and Duke University (7:41.84).
Kipchumba started the race off with a 1.58.80 split. Elliott followed with a new indoor personal best of 1:57.50. Gullette also posted a personal best 1:58.50 in the third leg and Walker carried the baton across the finish line with a split of 1:58.50.
“This was a great team effort for us,” said Lee head coach Caleb Morgan. “Everyone had to do their part in order for us to qualify. Gullette stepped up big for us, running a huge personal best that we needed. I am very pleased at the level our guys have been performing. Everyone has made big gains this season and we look forward to that same progression to continue as we go into nationals.”
The Lady Flames’ 4x800 meter relay team of Jessica Childers, Cayce Bryan, Storyie Miller and Emily Arnesen were expecting to compete against Virginia Tech and Duke, two of the top teams in the ACC, but when it was time to line up they were the only team. Virginia Tech and Duke had scratched from the race.
Bryan started off with a 2:24 split and Miller carried Lee to the mid-point with a time of 2:28. Arnesen ran a 2:32 in the third leg. Childers ran a new personal best (2:21) in the 800 meters to give the Lady Flames an NAIA B qualifying time of 9:47.68. The adjusted time, due to track size, of 9:49.08 is the 22nd fastest time in the NAIA this season.
“I am very pleased with what our women accomplished,” said Morgan. “Having to run alone is very tough and takes a lot of focus. We responded well to a tough situation and got the job done.”
Next up for the Flames and Lady Flames is the NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships. The national meet will be held in Geneva, Ohio, and will run from Feb. 28 through March 2.