GULF SHORES, Ala. - The Taylor men's track and field team kicked off the 2014 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships with a pair of strong performances on Thursday.
Taylor's 4x800-meter relay team of Jared Reed,Schalk Van Niekerk,David Rodman, and Tanner Dye posted its best time of the season with a 7:46.26 in the second heat of the 4x800 relay trials. The team finished 15th in the trials but failed to qualify for the finals.
"We reversed our order with Jared Reed going out first and he got us off to a great start with a 1:54 split," Taylor coach Lance Vanderberg said. "We ran our best time of the year by three seconds and we return all of those next year so I'm really proud of those guys."
Ethan Evans was also in action in the finals of the 10,000-meter run, the final event of day one of the championships. Evans, the Taylor record-holder in the 10,000-meter run, finished the race in 32:48.06, placing 13th place in the 16-runner field.
"Overall times were a little slower in the 10,000 but I thought Ethan ran a great race," Vanderberg said. "He ran an intelligent race and he has really had a fantastic season."
Luke Currens and Matt Hall will be the only members of the Taylor men's track team competing during Friday's action at the NAIA National Championships. Currens will race in the 110-meter hurdles trials at 1:45 pm (CST) as the senior looks to earn All-American honors in the event for the second straight year after finishing sixth last year. Hall will make his first outdoor national championship appearance when the freshman races in the 5,000-meter run trials at 7:00 pm.