UPLAND, Ind. – Taylor will be well represented once again at the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships, with a group of 17 student-athletes set to compete in 15 events from May 25-27 at Mickey Miller Blackwell Stadium in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
The Trojan men enter the national meet ranked No. 23 in the NAIA and looking to follow a strong showing at Indoor Nationals, where they finished 15th overall with All-American performances by Matt Hall, Joseph Beamish, Jonathan DeHaan and Caleb Anthony. TU will have nine athletes competing in nine events this time on the men's side, with Harry Dantona, Benjamin Byrd, Mitchell Herrington, Leslie Romer and Aaron Scott representing the Purple and Gold along with Hall, Beamish, DeHaan and Anthony.
On the women's side, Taylor will try to follow a 20th-place showing at Indoor Nationals, where it claimed All-American finishes in three events from the group of Rachel Blagg, Margie Crosby, Naomi Noyes, Anna Souzis and Plenseh-Tay Sakeuh. The Trojans will have eight individual athletes set to compete in six events during the outdoor meet, with Brianna Jordahl, Abigail Phillips, Taylor Bluemel and Hannah Schroder joining Blagg, Crosby, Noyes and Sakeuh in action for TU.
Taylor will see action in eight events during the first day of competition on Thursday, with Jordahl opening the schedule with her first Nationals appearance in the women's hammer at 10:00 am (CT). Dantona will follow in the men's hammer at 1:00 pm, hoping to improve on an 18th-place finish in the weight throw at Indoor Nationals earlier this season.
Byrd will open things on the track for Taylor with the 1,500-meter trials at 3:40 pm, followed by Phillips in the trials for the 400-meter hurdles at 4:00 pm. Both Byrd and Phillips showed well at Indoor Nationals in different events, as Byrd took ninth in the distance medley relay and Phillips claimed ninth in the pentathlon.
Sakeuh will hunt for a third NAIA All-American honor and a second in the long jump when she takes the track at 5:30 pm. The sophomore finished third in the event at Indoor Nationals this spring, after claiming eighth in the 100-meter hurdles at the 2016 Outdoor Nationals as a freshman.
Also in action at 5:30 pm will be Herrington, who will be making his Nationals debut in the javelin, before the unit of Blagg, Crosby, Bluemel and Noyes race in the 4x800-meter relay trials at 5:40 pm. Taylor claimed fifth in the event at Indoor Nationals and took 10th at Outdoor Nationals one year ago.
Beamish will close out Thursday's busy schedule with the steeplechase trials at 7:10 pm, looking to improve on a 16th-place showing in the event one year ago.
Friday's slate will open with Sakeuh in the 100-meter hurdles trials at 1:30 pm, with Anthony following in the 110-meter hurdles trials at 1:45 pm. Anthony claimed second at Indoor Nationals in the 60-meter hurdles and will look to add another All-American performance to his standout freshman campaign.
Romer will continue the action in sprints at 3:10 pm for the trials of the 100-meter dash, with the women's 4x800-meter relay finals set for 5:30 pm. Hall will then take the stage at Nationals once again for the 5,000-meter trials at 7:00 pm. Hall finished third in the event at Indoor Nationals, fourth at the 2016 Outdoor Nationals and boasts a total of seven NAIA All-American honors over his illustrious career at Taylor.
Schroder and Scott will race in the marathon at 6:00 am on Saturday morning in a repeat performance for both athletes from the 2016 National Championships and DeHaan will try to repeat his All-American showing in the pole vault at Indoor Nationals when he competes at 1:00 pm.
A string of potential finals will round out the Saturday schedule for the Trojans, with the steeplechase at 2:20 pm, men's 1,500-meters at 3:10 pm, women's 100-meter hurdles at 3:20 pm, men's 110-meter hurdles at 3:30 pm, men's 100-meter dash at 4:00 pm, women's 400-meter hurdles at 4:10 and the men's 5,000-meters at 5:55 pm.