CIRCLEVILLE, OH - The Trailblazer Indoor Track and Field Team headed to Houghton in New York this past weekend to participate in the NCCAA National Meet. Freshman power house Zarria Williams (FR/Burlington, NJ) started off the weekend right with a long jump that was leading the NCCAA National meet going into the finals. Her competitors then surpassed her and moved her into 4th place until Williams 2nd to last jump of 5.45m (17'10.75), which shot her back into second place, just missing the top jumper. Williams is OCU's first ever NCCAA DI track All-American. Williams also competed in the Women's Distance Medley which placed 4th later that night and the 200m dash the following day. Zarria's jump ranked her 19th in the NAIA.
The Women's DMR was led off by Freshman Aly Turrentine who ran a personal best against some tough competition, Zarria Williams ran the 400 leg in a season best 62.8 seconds, Freshman Madigan Marshall (FR/West Union, OH) ran a solid 800 leg, and Sophomore Ariel Arellano-Young closed out the race with the 1600m leg. The talented young squad finished in a 4th place with their second fastest time of the season.
The Men's DMR saw a major time drop of 14 seconds to run a 10:43 total time and that kept them in the race for 4th as the top three separated early on in the race. Sophomore Kyle Benecke (SO/Lewis Center, OH) led off with a PR of 3:14 in the 1200, Freshman Kameron Seabrook (FR/Dayton, OH) ran a PR in the 400 leg with a 51.5 seconds, Sam Church ran a season best of 2:01 in the 800, and Freshman Canaan Gardner (FR/Tarlton, OH) went out in 2:11 through the first 800 meters of the 1600m leg to try to keep the Trailblazers in the race, holding on to finish 5th with a 4:35 leg.
Freshman Kameron Seabrook ran a personal best in the 60m dash and made the finals which took place the following day. He ran 7.01 which was even faster in the finals to place 4th, just missing All-American by .01 seconds.
Less than 30 minutes after running the mile leg in the DMR, Ariel Arellano-Young toed the line in the women's 5k. Young started off the race right on pace as the top 3 went out considerably faster to try to shake the field. After the lead was nearly 12 seconds, each lap found Young closer and closer to the lead pack and by mile two she was right on their shoulders. With just over 800 meters remaining Young took her shot to run away from the kickers and had a 10m lead but with two laps remaining the attempt proved too tough as the kickers got away from Young. She placed 4th with a time of 17:41 which is ranked 5th in the NAIA. The NAIA Championships will be held in Johnson City, TN in two weeks.
Coach Eric Hamner had this to say about his group: "I am so proud of these young men and women that came with us and represented Ohio Christian University so well in their performances and also in their sportsmanship. I hope it inspires the rest of the team and we can take even more athletes in the outdoor season. It was a great experience to compete against other universities that are geared toward serving our Almighty God and using their talents to glorify Him. The NCCAA is a great organization to be a part of."
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