UPLAND, Ind. – Fourteen members of the Taylor men's and women's track and field teams will travel to the Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio later this week to compete in the NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships.
Allison Steinbeck, Hannah Schroder, and Anissa Richards will kick off the championships at 4:00 pm on Thursday in the semifinals of the women's 5,000-meter run. Richards qualified for the National Championships with a winning performance at the DePauw Indoor Classic on Feb. 21.
Sophomore Matt Hall will take the track immediately after Richards for the men's 5,000-meter semifinals. Hall earned All-American honors last May in the same event at the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships.
Taylor's women's 4x800 relay team of Sarina Oleson, Jenna Norris, Shelby Wilson, and Jane Hawks will face at 5:30 pm on Thursday for the semifinals of the event. The group should benefit from a plethora of National Championship experience, as Norris will be racing in her fourth National Championship with Oleson and Hawks making their third National Championship appearances.
The women's distance medley relay team will close out the competition on Thursday, racing in the semifinals at 7:30 pm. The DMR team of Elaine Schmeltz, Courtney Thompson, Sarina Oleson, and Alex Berends automatically qualified for the National Championships with a blistering performance at the Anderson Invitational on Feb. 8.
Kenny Higgins will look to make his mark as the only field event athlete competing for the Trojans when the senior competes in the men's weight throw at 12:00 pm on Friday. Higgins is making his first Indoor National Championship appearance.
Schmeltz, who is making her third indoor National Championship appearance, will kick off the competition on the Track on Friday at 1:05 pm in the semifinals of the mile. Schmeltz set the Taylor record in the event at the 2014 Indoor National Championships.
Tanner Dye will follow Schmeltz on the track in the semifinals of the men's mile. Dye is making his first Indoor National Championships appearance but he does bring national championship experience as a member of TU's 4x800-meter relay team that competed in the 2014 Outdoor National Championships last May.
Taylor's lone sprinter, senior Brandan Wilchcombe will race in the semifinals of the 60-meter hurdles at 1:40 pm on Friday. Wilchcombe qualified for the National Championships at the Greyhound Classic on Jan. 24.
The final semifinal race for the Trojans will be the women's 3,000-meter run at 4:25 pm on Thursday that will feature freshman Alex Berends. Berends qualified in the 3,000-meter at the Hoosier Hills Invitational on Feb. 13.
For more information including the complete schedule, ticket information, live video streaming, and updated results, visit the TU Championship Central page.