Hogardh, Tang and Banks impress while in three different states
The NAU track and field team was scattered for action this past weekend as members of the program competed in three separate venues simultaneously.
Some athletes trekked to New Mexico for the Don Kirby Tailwind Invitational, with the throwers traveling just down the highway to ASU for the Sun Angel Classic. The rest of the active athletes traveled to Palo Alto, Calif. for the Stanford Invitational.
At the Sun Angel Classic, senior thrower Pascal Tang posted a career-best in the hammer throw, finishing with a distance of 206 feet 8.25 inches.
“Pascal has been really consistent this year, and the Sun Angel Invitational typically has some of the best hammer throwers in the country, so it’s great for him to get to compete against those guys in the middle of the season,” said director of track and field Eric Heins.
Sophomore thrower Lauren Stuart finished third in the hammer with a distance of 183-9 and senior Nicole Elliot placed in sixth with a throw of 181-9.
At the Don Kirby, the sprint teams for the men and women posted impressive results. Freshman sprinter Darriel Banks posted a season-best in the 200 meter with a time of 24.33. Shamelle Pless, also a freshman, qualified in the 200 meter with a time of 25.12. Senior sprinter Rashida McKinnon set a new personal record in the 400 meter in a time of 55.44 seconds.
For the men, sophomore Adel al Nasser finished sixth in the men’s 400 meter in 47.66. Freshman Deante Kemper won the high jump for the Lumberjacks with a height of 7.5 feet.
In Palo Alto, the Lumberjack distance corps did not disappoint. Senior distance runner Jordan Chipangama ran a 14:08.76 in the 5,000 meter, which was a career-best for him. Also in the 5,000, freshman Alejandro Montano posted a career-best time of 14:27.36.
In the steeplechase, the Lumberjacks freshmen Caleb Hoover and Caroline Hogardh both placed in the top-two in the event. Hoover finished second in a time of 9:13.37, becoming the team leader in the event, while Hogardh finished first in 10:20.27. This was the season debut for both athletes in the steeplechase.
“With Caleb (Hoover) that’s about where we were hoping he’d be … It’s always great when you’re hoping for something and it comes true,” Heins said. “Caroline was probably the biggest surprise. As a true freshman running a 10:20 in your first steeplechase is great. We’re really excited about her over the next few weeks.”
The track and field team is off this week, but will be back in competition on the April 19 at the Mt. SAC relays in Walnut, Calif.