Bethany, Oklahoma — Freshman runner Hope Ahnfeldt continues to earn accolades by winning the Individual Champion Medal. The men’s team had the fastest time in program history and the Golden Eagles qualified at least three runners to the NAIA National Championship with a John Brown University cross. The national team placed third at the Soner Athletic Conference Championships held on Saturday morning (November 5) at Eldon Lyon Park.
For three consecutive seasons, the Golden Eagle made it to the women’s podium after the Conference Championship, and this time, Anfeld crossed the finish line at 18:44, 12 seconds faster than Oklahoma City in 18:44. went. Kaylan Jolie. Ahnfeldt’s mark was not only good enough to win the race, he also set the record for fastest time for a Golden Eagle freshman in the SAC Championship.
“It’s a huge effort for Hope,” said JBU manager Scott Schochler. “She has grown as a runner every week and has done some great racing together for this championship. She loves challenges and it’s great to see her hard work and aspiration to learn the sport pay off.”
With her performance, Ahnfeldt won one of four large berths available in individual qualifiers, but she wasn’t the only one. Senior Emerson Turner broke the tape at 19:46 and finished sixth overall, solidifying her place in the NAIA National Championship. This marks at least two qualifying rounds for the Golden Eagles for the first time in the program.
Ahnfeldt and Turner both earned All-Conference honors thanks to being in the top 15 of 49 runners, but her time 21:05 with freshman Liz Vazquez was enough for the duo to join the All-Conference list. It took 15th overall.
This was the first time in the program’s history that the Golden Eagles boasted all three conference winners.
Sophomore Olivia Scates finished 19th at 21:26 a.m. and sophomore Sarah Smith finished John Brown’s score 22nd at 21:50.
Oklahoma City won the team title in a time of 1:37:58, earning Sonner Athletic’s automatic bid for the NAIA Championship. Texas Wesleyan narrowly beat JBU to second place with 60-62 points, despite finishing 6 seconds slower than the Golden Eagles, which finished at 1:42:53.
The men then set off in the 8,000-meter championship race, setting numerous new records, including total team time and number of All-Conference completed.
Despite finishing third out of seven teams, the Golden Eagles posted a team time of 2:11:58, setting a new program record in all 8K as well as the SAC Championship. The time is 18 seconds faster than the previous record set by the Ouachita Baptist (Ark.) Tiger Invitational last season.
Qualifying to lead the Golden Eagles to the first NAIA National Championship was Junior Jean-Benoit Merte, who finished 11th overall with a personal time of 25:33 and finished all conferences.
Sophomore Josiah Petak and freshman Chase Schermer joined Merte as All-Conference winners at 25:56 (13th) and 26:08 (14th), respectively. As runner-up Wayland Baptist (Texas) advances to the NAIA National Championship, Championship Runner-up Petak and Schermer will join Merte in the national competition.
Senior Jadin Whiting and junior Jake Hagood also crossed the line to score for John Brown at 27:02 (20th) and 27:16 (22nd) respectively.
Senior Drew Birnbaum (27:53), sophomore Daniel Haefl (30:52), freshman Joshua Loh (32:20) and senior Kai Thng (29:30) set seven personal records alongside Merte, Petak and Schermer. I did. meet.
Oklahoma City won the men’s team title in a time of 2:04:17 and claimed an automatic league spot.
Petak and Schermer had to wait for the NAIA to announce the championship field on Monday, November 7th. It remains to be seen whether the pair will join Merte, Ahnfeldt and Turner for the NAIA National Championship on November 18th. Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee, Florida. These qualification results were not provided at press time.