Athletes gain national honors in last indoor meet of season


Photo by Submitted

Written By Allison Schubert, Sports Editor

The men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams competed in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Indoor Track & Field National Championships in Brookings, S.D. last week, taking home multiple national honors.

The women saw action on the first day of Nationals last Thursday, when the distance medley relay ran in the preliminary round, but missed the finals by just three spots.

Freshman Kiera Cutrigh, sophomore Alyssa Campbell and juniors Alyssa Boyd and Reba Bartram were the quartet that made up Point Park’s distance medley relay team, which came in at a time of 12 minutes, 25.85 seconds.

16 total teams competed in the distance medley relay, with eight teams in each of the two heats. The Pioneers placed fifth in the second heat, finishing in 11th in the country overall.

Since only the top eight teams move on to the final round, Point Park did not advance, but only missed out by eight seconds.

This is the third consecutive year that the Pioneers’ distance medley relay team made the trip to nationals.

Representatives from both the men’s and women’s teams competed on Friday, the penultimate day of Nationals.

The women had two athletes competing in prelims: Bartram in the 800-meter event and Campbell in the mile.

Like the distance medley relay that both athletes ran in the day prior, only the top eight spots in the 800-meter advance to the finals; the top ten times in the mile event advance.

Bartram was seeded 19th going into Nationals, but set a new personal-record of 2:16.77 to place ninth overall in the 800-meter. That time was just 0.15 seconds short of eighth place (2:16.62), edging her out of advancing.

The story was similar for Campbell, who ran a time of 5:07.49 in the mile and placed 14th in the country. This time was within three seconds of the advancing ten, but not enough to move on.

The men saw a bit more success with their first day of competition in the national meet.

Senior Xavier Stephens ran in the preliminary round of the mile, placing third in his heat and sixth in the country with a time of 4:17.09.

Placing sixth overall was good enough to move onto the finals on Saturday with a chance to make NAIA All-American status for the third time in just as many appearances at Nationals.

Stephens was the only Pioneer to compete on Saturday in the final round of the mile, in which he placed tenth in the nation with a time of 4:34.

This was Stephens’ third top-ten national finish of his career, the other two coming from the indoor 1,000-meter and outdoor 1,500-meter last year.

Next up for both teams is the outdoor track and field season, which begins on March 21 at the Geneva Golden Tornado Classic in Beaver Falls.