BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Lee University’s track and field squads kicked off the indoor seasons with a trip to the BSC Panther Icebreaker Indoor Track and Field meet. No team scores were tallied in the event.
Cayce Bryan led a contingent of six Lee athletes that met qualification standards for the National Christian College Athletic Association National Championships in late February.
Bryan qualified for the 1-mile run and the 800-meter run. Her time of 5:09.88 in the mile eclipsed the standard of 5:35, while she was seven seconds quicker (2:20.61) than the needed time in the 800 meter. The senior edged Sherril McFarlane of Georgia Southern University to win the 1-mile run.
Jessica Childers and Ashley Matthews met the 11:15 mark to qualify for the 3,000-meter run. Childers posted a time of 10:42.64 (seventh) and Matthews had a time of 10:59.42 (12th).
“I’m really proud of all three ladies who achieved qualifiers,” said Lee head coach Caleb Morgan. “For Cayce to open up indoor season with a seven second personal best and a win in the mile, as well as two national qualifying times, is fantastic.”
“Jessica ran the best race of her collegiate career tonight and I could not be more excited for the progress she’s made recently in her training. Ashley executed her race perfectly. Indoors, on a small track, it’s easy to get tangled up and caught up in bumping and pushing, but she sat on the back of the lead pack and ran perfectly.”
While Bryan finished seventh in the 800-reter run, Emily Arnesen and Emily Bryan finished 29th and 30th, respectively. Arnesen had a time of 2:32.39 and Bryan crossed the line at 2:32.97.
Storyie Miller was 21st (6:03.23) in the mile and Alexis Hewitt’s time of 6:27.12 put her in 23rd.
Elizabeth Sillcocks placed 33rd with a long jump mark of 2.30 meters. Rachel Riel and Kayla Gash participated in the shot put. Riel was 28th (4.92 meters) and Gash finished 29th (4.63 meters).
Emmanuel Kipchumba (4:32.22) and Seth Ruhling (4:33.18) surpassed the 1-mile run qualifying time of 4:36. Kipchumba finished sixth and Ruhling was seventh. Blake Smith posted a time of 4:58.57 (14th) and Austin Schetrompf (5:08.41) was 15th.
Adam Gullette’s 800-meter run time of 2:01.72 (12th) earned him a spot in the national field. The qualifying standard for the 800 meter is 2:02.
Justin Knuth and Keenen Hindes were not far behind Gullette. Knuth was 18th at 2:03.98 and Hindes was 25th with a time of 2:11.18.
“It’s always exciting when you open up a meet with two personal bests right off the bat,” commented Morgan. “Emmanuel got sucked into a way too fast early pace and definitely paid for it later in the race. He still ran faster than he’s ever run and met the national qualifier, which is great to get out of the way.”
“Seth is a freshman who hadn’t raced for us since our cross country opener, and he came out of the gate with a personal best of his own, as well as a national qualifier, so we love seeing that,” Morgan added.
Patrick Shultz, Joseph Crook and Camden Perez each ran in the 3,000-meter run. Shultz was ninth (9:11.37), Crook was 11th (9:24.48) and Perez was 14th (9:28.37).
The teams will take a short break for final exams before preparing for the Niswonger Invitational at East Tennessee State University on Jan.15.