The Bethel track and field teams landed runner-up and fifth-place honors at the 2017 Crossroads League Championship that came to a close on Saturday. The men tallied a total of 163.33 points to claim the title of league runners-up behind Marian who picked up the title with 192 team points. On the women's side, BC scored 73 points while MU again finished at the top of the leaderboard with 181 points.
The Bethel men landed seven all-league performances on Saturday led by individual champions Alex Moses, Joel Hartman and Erik Escobedo. On the track, Moses and Hartman took home top honors in the 400-meter dash and the 3,000-meter steeplechase respectively, bringing the men's total of individual champions to five over the two-day event. Moses' victory came with a time of 48.54 seconds, which he coupled with a fifth-place finish in the 200-meter. Hartman's steeplechase crown was thanks to a run in 9:32.39. The senior from Elkhart also pitched in a fifth-place finish in the 5,000-meter to round out a solid showing at his last league championship event.
The Pilots' lone field event champion from the men's squad was Escobedo who has been dominant in the men's hammer throw all season. With a toss of 60.05 meters, the junior landed top honors, which goes in the books as his first career Crossroads League event title.
Also earning all-league honors for their work on the day were Brett Baumgartner with a third-place finish in the 200-meter (22.18), Travis Sperry with a third-place finish in the 400-meter (48.76), Andy Herbert with a third-place finish in the 1,500-meter (4:01.07), and the 4x100-meter relay team with a runner-up finish (41.29). With their time of 41.29 seconds in the 4x100, Baumgartner, Conner Sowders, Jamique Mitchell and Moses improve their previously recorded NAIA 'B' qualifying standard to an 'A' standard heading into the final two postseason races of the season.
On the women's side, Bethel dominated the hammer throw thanks to Melanie Nellis and Keryn Lumpkin who took first and second place respectively to score 18 points for the Pilots. Nellis repeats as a Crossroads League champion with a throw of 46.45 meters. Hot on her heels was teammate Lumpkin who finished with runner-up honors thanks to a toss of 45.63 meters. With the addition of Nellis and Lumpkin, the Bethel women finish the championship with two event champions, a pair of event runners-up and four All-Crossroads League team members.
The Pilots will now set their sights on the NCCAA National Championships hosted in Shawnee, Oklahoma. A full preview of the national meet will be released next week.
The Bethel College Pilots compete in 17 intercollegiate sports for men and women. While accumulating 3 NAIA National Championships and 32 NCCAA National Championships by 10 different athletic teams, Bethel has also produced 143 NAIA All-American honors and 309 NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors over the past decade. Bethel College is an accredited Christian college offering associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees in more than 70 areas of study. Connect with Bethel Athletics online at BethelCollegePilots.com or via Facebook, Twitter (@Bethel_Sports) and Instagram (@BethelPilots).
Men's Top-8 Finishers
6th Michael Presnell – 57.99
3rd Andy Herbert – 4:01.07 – All-Crossroads League
1st Joel Hartman – 9:32.39 – All-Crossroads League
5th Joel Hartman - 15:20.81
2nd Bethel – 41.29 – All-Crossroads League
4th Bethel – 3:22.11
5th Phillip Fox – 44.91
7th Albert Gongwer – 43.60
Women's Top-8 Finishers
8th Jessica Miller – 16.69
8th Precious Trejo – 1:16.89
8th Jessica Duvall – 2:25.71
4th Jessica Duvall – 4:58.88
4th Bethel – 48.67
5th Bethel – 4:15.15
4th Darian Westmeyer – 33.7