From Thursday to Saturday, nine student-athletes from The Master’s University will compete at the NAIA National Championships at the Mickey Miller Blackwell Stadium in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
On Thursday, Skyler Miskesell will kick things off by competing in the men’s 1,500m trials at 3:40 p.m. (EST). Should Mikesell advance from the 1,500m trials, he will compete on Saturday in the finals at 3:10 p.m. (EST) where he will undoubtedly look to earn NAIA All-American honors by finishing among the top-8 competitors.
Commenting on Mikesell, TMU head coach Zach Schroeder said, “Skyler recently ran a new lifetime best for his 400m leg of the 4×400 at the GSAC championships, was the conference champion in the 1500m, and just last week, ran a new lifetime best in the open 800m. I believe Skyler is in 3:50 shape, and although the conditions will be challenging, I believe he is ready to claim a top-8 spot for NAIA All-American Honors.”
At 5:40 p.m. (EST) on Thursday, Morgan Pedrick, Mikala Fairchild, Ariana Sciarra, Rylee Bishop will compete in the women’s 4×800 relay trials. The Mustangs enter the 4x800m trials aiming to set a new school record, and should they advance, they will compete on Friday in the finals at 5:30 p.m. (EST).
Remarking on the quartet’s upcoming performance, Schroeder said, “Our goal for the 4x800m will be to run a new school record. Our girls will be fresh for the event which will be a tremendous advantage for us. Our girls are ready for the challenge.”
On Friday at 6:10 p.m. (EST), TMU’s Abigail Frankian will compete in the women’s 5,000m trials and is expected to advance to Saturday’s 5,000m final at 5:30 p.m. (EST).
Frankian anticipates earning NAIA All-American honors in the 5,000m, a feat only accomplished once before in TMU women’s track and field program history. Last year at the NAIA National Championships, older sister Karis Frankian won the individual title at the NAIA Championships in 17:16.51.
“Abigail is coming on strong at the end of the year,” Said Schroeder. “As the grittiest racer on the Mustang squad, I am confident she will claim an NAIA All-American finish in the 5,000m. If she accomplishes this, it will be her first NAIA All-American finish for track & field. The women’s 5,000m is very strong this year, and we will be very excited for any finish within the top-8.”
TMU will also be represented in the 3,000m steeplechase on Saturday with Rachael Ingoldsby competing in the women’s finals at 2:00 p.m. (EST), and Alec Franco competing in the men’s finals at 2:20 p.m. (EST). Schroeder also believes both athletes have excellent chances of achieving NAIA All-American honors.
Also on Saturday, Pedrick will represent TMU in the women’s 1,500m final at 3:00 p.m. (EST). On April 28, Pedrick was named the GSAC Champion and earned All-GSAC honors in the 1,500m after finishing the event in 4:43.98 at the 2017 GSAC Championships on the campus of Westmont College in Santa Barbara.
Lastly, on Saturday at 6:00 a.m. (EST), TMU’s Josh Sherfey will compete in the marathon where he looks to become the second Mustang in program history to win the NAIA title and follow in the footsteps of Jeff Jackson, who won the event in 2010.
Commenting on Sherfey’s upcoming performance, Schroeder said, “Josh is without a doubt in the best shape of his life as he has clocked new personal records in the 1,500m, 5,000m, 10,000m, and half marathon. We have worked hard to prepare Josh for the harsh racing conditions for Alabama, and I believe he is both mentally and physically prepared for what lies ahead. In 2010, Jeff Jackson won the marathon, and Josh looks to not only win the marathon, but I believe he is ready to set a new school record in the event. We have had athletes compete in the marathon every year for the past four years, and as a coach, I believe we have a huge advantage knowing what the conditions require. I am very excited for Josh to attempt to claim an NAIA National Champion title.”
Further commenting on the Mustangs’ time in Gulf Shores, Schroeder stated, “We have had many of our athletes earn NAIA All-American honors in the history of our program, and the fact that we have so many in contention for a top-eight spot this year is a very big deal. I’m excited to see how we do!”
Stretch Internet, the NAIA’s official video-streaming company of NAIA national championship events, will be broadcasting the events on www.NAIANetwork.com. A subscription package to view the entire three-day event is $14.95. For more information, including how to register and sign-up for an account, click [here].
For more information on the 2017 NAIA Men’s & Women’s Outdoor Track & Field National Championships, click [here].