GULF SHORES, Ala. –Taylor freshman Alex Berends advanced to Saturday's finals in the 3,000-meter steeplechase while the TU 4x800-meter relay team set a school record to highlight the action on day two of the NAIA National Championships.
Berends finished third in her heat to advance to the finals with a time of 10:57.66. The Hudsonville, Mich., native will have an opportunity to earn the fourth All-American honor of here freshman campaign (cross country, indoor track 3,000-meter, indoor track distance medley relay) when she runs the finals of the 3,000-meter steeplechase at 2:00 pm.
Senior Elaine Schmeltz saw the conclusion of her stellar career with a bit of a disappointing race in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Schmeltz, who placed sixth to earn All-American honors in the race last year, struggled to find her rhythm and failed to advance to Saturday's finals. Despite the disappointing finish Schmeltz finishes her career as one of the most decorated runners in Taylor history with numerous school records and national championship appearances in cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track. Schmeltz qualified for the outdoor national championships all four years in the steeplechase and claimed the Crossroads League title in the event in all four of her seasons. Â
Taylor's 4x800-meter relay team posted a new school record during the two-heat finals on Friday afternoon with a time of 9:20.31 to finish in 19th place in the field that blistered the Mickey Miller Blackwell Stadium track with scorching times. Still, the TU squad of Jane Hawks, Sarina Oleson, Norris, and Shelby Wilson wrapped up a stellar season with its best performance yet.
Taylor distance runners Anissa Richards and Allison Steinbeck will kick off the final day of the 2015 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships when the pair races in the marathon at 6:00 am. Berends will wrap up the season for the Taylor women's team in the finals of the 3,000-meter steeplechase at 2:00 pm.
Fans can find more information, including links to photo galleries, video recaps, live streaming, live results, and schedules at the Taylor Track & Field National Championship Central Page.