On Saturday, The Master’s University men’s track & field team posted a number of qualifying marks at the Ross & Sharon Irwin Invitational for the 66th Annual Men’s Outdoor Track & Field National Championships from May 25-27 at the Mickey Miller Blackwell Stadium in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
Leading the way for TMU was Alec Franco who ran a spectacular season-debut in the 3000m steeplechase. Winning the race and posting a national qualifying mark, Franco crossed the line in 9:30.54. Alec joins teammates Joshua Sherfey and Tim Gutierrez on the national roster; both Sherfey and Gutierrez are slated to compete in the marathon at the national meet.
“This was a great first race back in the steeple”, commented TMU head coach Zach Schroeder. “Alec’s devotion to the sport is really starting to pay off. I love what I see out of this kid.”
Next on the track was several heats of the men’s 1500m. Skyler Mikesell represented TMU well in the first, and fastest, heat of the event. Winning the race and hitting a national qualifying mark along the way, Mikesell crossed the line in 3:55.43.
“This was an exceptional tactical race from Skyler” said Schroeder. “He started out very conservative, ran negative splits, and closed hard. It was a great race.”
Also competing in various sections of the men’s 1500m was Andrew Orona, Joshua Nunez, Stephen Pacheco, Tobin Bolter, Andrew Dolan, and Gareth Matson, posting marks of 4:02.31, 4:12.55, 4:15.48, 4:16.06, 4:22.9, and 4:27.26. Notably, Orona ran a fantastic race and won his section, out-kicking his competition in the last 500m. Also, Nunez, Pacheco, Dolan, and Matson all ran personal bests.
Max Hudson set a new TMU record and improved on his personal best in the pole vault, clearing two heights and attaining 3.8m.
Christian Carter improved on his 400m mark from last weekend, running 50.42.
In the 100m, Sam Jaimes posted a time of 11.2, just off his lifetime best. Later in the day, Jaimes would double back to compete in the 200m, with a time of 23.28. Pole vaulter Max Hudson also stepped on the track and ran a solid 11.7.
Finally, Max Hudson became the first Mustang in program history to throw the discus for TMU, putting up a mark of 27.57m. Hudson is preparing to compete in his first collegiate decathlon next week at Westmont’s Jim Klein Multi Invitational.