By Mason Nesbitt, TMU Sports Information Director
At least twice this season, when freshman Seanna Nalbandyan competed in the 400-meter dash, The Master’s University coaching staff was quick to point out it wasn’t her primary event.
She was talented, yes, but she was better in the hurdles. So, even as Nalbandyan blazed over unobstructed ground in past weeks, she was expected to shine brighter in days to come.
Saturday, she delivered, running a lifetime and program best in the 400 hurdles at the Ross and Sharon Irwin Collegiate Scoring Meet at Point Loma Nazarene University.
Nalbandyan posted the meet’s sixth fastest time (1 minute, 1.81 seconds) – finishing behind runners from schools like Azusa Pacific, Yale, UC San Diego and Navy – and hit the A Standard qualifying mark for NAIA nationals.
Nalbandyan’s performance, grouped with the efforts of other talented freshmen Saturday, gave coach Zach Schroeder a look at the program’s future – and it was about as scenic as the views from Point Loma’s beachside campus.
“The strong freshmen marks are a promising indication of what the future of our program holds,” Schroeder said.
Freshmen Wes Methum (4:08.4) and Kevin Pacheco (4:08.53) had solid debuts in the 1500, while junior Stephen Pacheco (4:06.01) led the way for TMU in the event.
Freshman Rachelle Nelson also ran the 1500 for the first time collegiately and finished second in her heat (4:54.03).
Freshman Cameron Fooks, a sprinter in high school whom Schroeder plans to stretch out, ran his first 800 in impressive fashion (2:02.84).
“He’s a natural,” Schroeder said.
The coach was also pleased with Jacob Ortiz’s and Samuel Jaimes’ performances in the 200.
Both seniors, Ortiz ran a 22.79, and James ran a 22.9.