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Track team advances to NAIA National Championship

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Track folo pic

Kate Grint participates in the weight throw event for Doane.

Doane women's indoor track team lost their first GPAC title in eight years. The men won their fifth consecutive championship, though. Both look forward to the NAIA National Championship in South Dakota.

The women placed third overall with 125 points. They fell 48.5 points behind the champions, Concordia University. Teams earn points for each athlete placing in the top eight of the event. First place gets 10, second gets eight, third gets six and each place decreasing by one from there.

Junior thrower Kate Grint was shocked to lose this year. She was part of the team that won the last four GPAC titles. She says that the team knew they were not predicted to win, but that they had been in a similar situation in the past and still pulled off the victory. Grint said the biggest difference was the lack of depth. The team graduated a large senior class last year and had a smaller recruiting class this year.

Senior Jaysa Hoins agreed with Grint, she said.

“A lot of the seniors are disappointed, ut we just didn’t have as much depth in the past. So it’s a little bit harder to do what we were supposed to do,” Hoins said.

The senior class faced their first GPAC loss in their years at Doane.

On the men’s side, they accumulated 191.50 points as a team - beating second place team, Concordia by 75 points. They finished the meet with 39 top-eight finishes - with 17 of those being top three finishes, according to Doane Athletics.

Senior Alan Varela was proud of his team. He felt inspired by the prediction of finishing at the top of the group. He said they could preach consistency to the rest of the team. No one needed to have a stand-out day in order for them to achieve the title. He said they all knew that if they each did what they’ve been doing all year, then they should come out with the championship.

Athletes from both teams will travel to Brookings, S.D. for the NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships. The championships are from Thursday to Saturday.

The women will have 17 chances to earn points at nationals. They have earned 12 spots by hitting NAIA “A standard” marks. Two athletes hit the NAIA “B standard” marks and being in the top 16. Three more compete due to the NAIA allotting three more spaces per team to take members who have hit NAIA B standards but are not in the top 16.

This is the “Right-of-Membership” entry. Hoins believes that the women can place in the top three with the number of athletes that they have who can earn points.

The men also have 17 spots to earn points at nationals with 12 from NAIA “A” marks. Two more compete from “B” marks and in the top 16 and three from the “Right-of-Membership” entries. Varela says that the team is predicted to finish in the top eight. He believes that they can push for a top five spot, he said.