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Huntington women's track & field wins NAIA national indoor championship

March 9, 2020


Huntington women's track and field program became the first Forester athletic team to win a national championship in winning the NAIA indoor title on Saturday, March 7.

Huntington scored 77 points, beating out second-place William Carey University (70 points) points and third-ace Indiana Tech (57 points).

The Foresters' efforts were led by Aspen Dirr, who won individual national championships in both the 1,000-meter run (2:50.10) and mile run (4:53.72); and she was was part of two prevailing relay groups: the 4x800-meter relay (9:06.2) and the distance medley relay (11:46.71). Dirr's 33 points alone garnered her Most Valuable Performer for highest individual point total, and Athlete of the Meet as chosen by the coaches.

Both relay teams included included Hannah Stoffel, Mara McFarland and Molly Mitchell in the finals. Olivia Von Gunten, Jessica Chojnacki and Jordan Adam competed in prelimary heats on the different relays.

Individually, Stoffel added the 800-meter run national championship to her collection, placed second to Dirr in the mile (4:55.21) and finished third nationally in the 600-meter run (1:32.09).

Mitchell rounded out the scoring for Huntington with her fourth-place run in the mile (4:57.18). Sage Norris finished 16th in the 3,000-meter prelims.

Head coach Joel Childs was named National Women's Indoor Coach of the Year.

Indiana Tech's third-place team finish came with one individual championship and a host of All-American badge scoring. Destiny Copeland tied a personal-best 12.34m/40-5.75 to win the triple jump national title. She won the NAIA titles in the long jump the previous two years.

Fellow Warriors Obike Nekeima (triple jump), Derica Gibson (200-meter dash), Doneasha (200-meter dash), Sha'londa Terry (200-meter dash, 60-meter dash), Lenae Lundy (high jump) and the 4x400-meter relay team of Destinee McGrady, Antonishka Deveaux and Kayla Moody took home All-America honors.

Saint Francis freshman Alex Ebetino finished 16th in the 5,000-meter run; and she set the new school record at 17:55.09. 

On the men's side, Indiana Tech also finished third in the team scores. Ten Warriors earned All-American badges: Anthony Franklin (200-meter dash runner-up), Jordan Highsmith (400-meter dash, 200-meter dash), Gairy Springer (600-meter dash), Qawtivis Johnson (60-meter dash), Zayquan Lincoln (60-meter dash), De'Anthony Coleman (60-meter dash), Malik Johnson (triple jump), and the 4x400-meter relay team of Michael Warner, Highsmith, Chale Mcleod and Barthelemy Peter.

Huntington North accounted for All-America honors in their two relay teams. Elijah Chesterman, Adrien Gentie, Josiah Sovine and Aaron Hendryx placed 6th in the 4x800-meter relay and the distance medley relay team of Chesterman, Gentie, Peyton Depriest and Haile Stutzman. 

Kent Yoder was the lone Forester to compete in an invididual event, finishing 18th in the 5,000-meter run.

Huntington University, Indiana Tech and the University of Saint Francis all partner with Parkview Sports Medicine for athletic training, nutrition, sports performance, athletic rehab and other sports medicine services for student-atletes. Learn more at www.parkviewsportsmedicine.com.

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