By Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications and Sports Information
GENEVA, Ohio - (Day 1 results) Briana Vander Woude of Dordt (Iowa) (pictured left) led wire-to-wire in all five events of the Women's Pentathlon to highlight Day 1 of the NAIA Men's and Women's Indoor Track & Field National Championships at the SPIRE Institute Thursday. In the first of the three-day event, Vander Woude was spectacular in winning the program's first-ever individual national title by hoisting the trophy in the pentathlon.
"Briana had a personal record in both the hurdles and high jump", said Dordt head coach Craig Heynen. "That got her off to a really good start (after two events) and took off some of the pressure. (With the team points), that gets us going into tomorrow's action on a good note."
Vander Woude, the Great Plains Athletic Conference titlist in the same event, defeated league competitor Jillian Ourada of Doane (Neb.) by 113 points. With 3,751 points, Vander Woude finished first in the 60-meter hurdles (8.73) and high jump (1.72 meters; 5-7 ¾) to carry her through to the championship. In 2012, Vander Woude finished second at nationals.
The men competed in the Heptathlon and finished four of seven events today. Siena Heights' (Mich.) Calvin Sullins is on top of the pack with 3,033 points. Behind him is Doane's Rob Keeney in second and Kale Wolken in third.
In the running events, athletes competing in the prelims and semifinals in the 5,000-meters, 4x800-meter relay, 4x400-meter relay and Distance Medley Relay. Hannah Helker of Oklahoma Baptist topped the women's 5,000 prelims with a time of 17:50.26. Doane takes the top seed into the 4x400 women's relay final tomorrow and Biola (Calif.) ran the fastest prelim time (9:09.54) today in the 4x800 women's relay.
With a clocking of 14:53.97, Phil Rizzo of St. Francis (Ill.) won the men's 5,000-meter prelims. He leads a field that includes fourth-seed Edward Taragon of Wayland Baptist (Texas), who won the 2012 individual title with a 14:30.37 time.
The Oklahoma Baptist men hold the No. 1 mark heading into the finals of the 4x400 tomorrow, while Morningside (Iowa) took the top time in the 4x800 prelims today.
After one day, Doane leads the women's team standings with 16 points. In addition to Ourada's eight points, Erin DeVries (5) and Karissa Blank (3) pushed the Tigers into the lead heading into Friday.
Hosted by SPIRE Institute for the third-straight year, the national championships continue Friday with the heptathlon kicking off the day at 10 a.m. EST. The finals in the racewalk and 4x800-meter relay highlight the running events in the afternoon. Six field events will take place beginning at 1 p.m.
All action can be seen live on the NAIA Network, the official video-streaming channel of the NAIA. For more information, click here.