Tech track team takes competitive crew to Nationals
The Indiana Tech track and field program will seek to continue its record-breaking season at the NAIA National Championship on the campus of Indiana Wesleyan in Marion May 26–28.
The Indiana Tech women's track team was awarded the 2011 Outdoor Track and Field Championship title.
The Warriors have qualified 27 athletes in 34 events. This marks the highest total for both male and female categories in school history.
The women’s squad is coming off its outdoor conference championship and looking to build on its 6th place finish at the Indoor National Championship. The women’s squad has strong senior leadership with Dina Petridis and Takeisha Hunt. Petridis, a three time All-American in the pole vault, comes into the championship ranked 10th. Takeisha Hunt, an All-American in the 60 meter hurdles, returns to the outdoor championship looking for her first 100 meter hurdles All American title. Takeisha will enter nationals with the 15th best time in the 100 meter hurdles. Joining Takeisha in the hurdles are junior Tiffany Aikin and freshman Frederica Rogers.
Aikin, the school record holder in the 100 meter hurdles and ranked 9th nationally in the event, is looking to add to her 3 previous All-American finishes. Rogers becomes the first female freshman in school history to make nationals in the 100 meter hurdles. She ranks 18th in the nation. Junior Domi Elizondo-Smith comes in ranked 8th in the open 400 meter dash. Domi is coming off a 3rd place finish at the Indoor National Championship.
The rest of the Lady Warriors competing are all freshman or sophomores. The sophomores are lead by five-time All-American Adella King. King will be competing individually in the 100 and 200 meter dashes. King finished 2nd at nationals last season in the 200 and is looking to bring home her first National Championship.
Abigail Torian, a two-time All-American will be competing in the 100 meter dash. Freshman Katelyn Lewis will also be competing in the 100 and 200 meter dashes and is looking to build on her All-American 4th place finish indoors in the 60 meter dash. Jamela Kimbrough will be competing in the 100 and 200 meter dashes, too. She finished 8th indoors in the 200 meter dash.
Chloe Brooks rounds out the individual qualifiers on the track and will be competing in the 200 meter dash. Brooks had the fastest time not to make the finals at the Indoor National Championship.
Rounding out the women competitors is freshman All-American Cora Tatum in the long jump. Tatum finished 4th at the Indoor National Championship in this event. The women also will feature two relay teams: the 4 x 100 meter relay and the 4 x 400 meter relay. Both relays come into the National Championship ranked 3rd. The ladies finished 4th indoors in the 4 x 400 meter relay and want to continue their success in this event. The 4 x 100 relay finished 5th at last year’s National Championship, but could potentially run the finals with three freshmen this year.
The field events are the strength of the men’s qualifiers. Sophomore Chadd Kellar will be competing in both the shot put and discus. Aaron Baker will be joining Kellar in the discus and will come into the championship ranked 6th. Sophomore David Army comes into the high jump looking to crack the exclusive 7-foot mark for the first time in his career. Army will bring a season best 6-10.75 feet jump and ranking of 5thto the big meet.
On the track, Brandon Reynard and Zac Chapman will both be competing in the 400 meter hurdles. Chapman, already an All-American in the 400 meter hurdles, comes in ranked 18th, nearly identical to his incoming ranking during his All-American campaign. Sophomore Brandon Reynard comes in with a lifetime best of 53.04 seconds and ranked 5th in the event. The men were able to qualify all three relay teams for the outdoor championship. The 4 x 400 meter and 4 x 800 meter competitions will be the two featured relays for the Warriors. The 4 x 400 meter team is fresh off of a 3:15.11 performance at the University of Louisville and is ranked 11th in the event. The 4 x 800 team is returning to nationals for the first time since the 2008 season and is ranked 16th in the event. The men’s team is making great strides as a young group. They only have one senior national athlete in John Wainwright who will be competing in the 4 x 800 meter relay. The future is very bright for this group.
The meet begins Thursday, May 26 at 1:00 p.m. on the campus of Indiana Wesleyan University. Action will continue on Friday and Saturday for the Warriors. For a full schedule of events please visit www.naia.org.