The Bethel Pilots track and field program crowned three individual champions on the first full day of competition at the 2017 NCCAA National Championships. Alongside the three titles, three new school records were set and five athletes walked about with all-American honors.
On the women's side, the tandem of Danielle Wojciechowski and Melanie Nellis stole the show as each won national crowns, which also garnered them all-American honors. Nellis' title in the women's hammer throw was captured on a throw of 51.00 meters, which also doubles as the new BC record in the event. Nellis already held the record from a toss of 49.43 meters last season. Wojciechowski's vault of 4.05 meters landed her a second NCCAA national title, having won the pole vault during the women's indoor season as well. Not to be overlooked was the performance of Keryn Lumpkin in the women's hammer. Her mark of 48.02 meters landed her runner-up honors and all-American status. As a team, the BC ladies sit in third overall in the field of 17.
The Bethel men also picked up a national title with Erik Escobedo winning the men's hammer throw with a mark of 60.77 meters. That mark, his career best, is also the best in program history and now sits as the new BC track and field record. His nod as the event's national champion also garners him NCCAA All-American honors as well. The final all-American performance of the day was turned in by Philip Fox in the decathlon. Fox took third place in the ten-event competition with a new school record of 6,325 total points.
The final day of the 2017 NCCAA Championships will start tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m. with the men's and women's marathon and will conclude at 6:25 p.m. with the men's 4x400-meter relay.
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).
6th Bethel – 7:49.63
6th Jason Foster – 1.88
8th Beau Beeson – 4.15
1st Erik Escobedo – 60.77 – National Champion & All-American
3rd Philip Fox – 6,325 – All-American
4th Bethel – 10:02.39
1st Danielle Wojciechowski – 4.05 – National Champion & All-American