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NAIA Championships men's preview

Published by
Ben Thistlewood   on May 21 2012, 08:35 PM

Nine runners and one race walker will compete at the NAIA Outdoor Championships next week, in events from 800 m up to 5,000 m. The meet is being held at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana for the third consecutive year. The endurance-heavy squad features all but one of UBC’s seven runners from last fall’s NAIA Cross Country Championships team, where they placed sixth.

 

 

First-year race walker Ben Thorne is the exception to the team of otherwise exclusively runners. And Thorne is quite the exception; his time of 22:12.62 in the 5km race-walk puts him at number two in the NAIA rankings, and a podium contender in Marion.

 

 

The deepest event for the T-Birds will be the 1,500 m, with three runners entered. Luc Bruchet, Jordan Smith, and Tim Huebsch will all be looking to qualify for the final and score points. Bruchet was a 2010 All-American in the 1,500 m, placing fourth in the final. He red-shirted last season. The graduating senior Smith will be making his fourth consecutive and final appearance at NAIAs, and racing for the last time as a Thunderbird. Third-year Tim Huebsch will make his first appearance at track nationals. He ran in the NAIA Cross Country Championships in the fall.

 

 

Another T-Bird sporting the blue and yellow one final time is senior and team captain Theo Hunt. He will be competing in a very strong field of 5,000 m runners, where Kennedy Kithuka of Wayland Baptist holds the number one ranking with a swift 13 minutes 28.61 seconds. Hunt also ran in the 5,000 m at NAIAs last year.

 

 

Second-year Justin Kent will partake in the 3,000m steeplechase where he is ranked number nine in the NAIA and could score valuable team points. He has chosen to sit out the 1,500 m run where he had already run ‘A’ standard. The Surrey-native could very well finish in the top five if things come together smoothly on race day. He ran his personal-best time of 9:14.43 at Long Beach Invitational in April.

 

 

Taking to the roads will be versatile junior Tim Smith. The UBC record holder in the marathon (2 hours 34 minutes 11 seconds) will run the full marathon on the final day of competition, looking to improve on last year’s 12th place showing, where he set the school record. After knocking a couple minutes off his half-marathon time earlier this spring, he is optimistic about his chances, and has a good chance to score points.

 

 

Three youngsters will make their first NAIA Championship debuts in the 4x800 m relay. Simon Bill and Devin Rajala have run in the mid 1:50’s this season and will be looking to go even faster. Another option is first-year Jack Williams.

 

 

 

CHAMPIONSHIP SCORING

 

The top eight finishers in the finals of each event score points for their team in a descending order of 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 from first to eighth. The points earned by each team are added together to determine the team standings at the conclusion of the meet.

 

 

T-BIRDS' MEN’S SCHEDULE

Note: all events are listed here in Pacific Standard Time (PST)

 

 

Thursday May 24, 2012

10:55am Men’s 1,500 m Trials (Luc, Jordan, Tim)

4:00pm Men’s 4x800 m Trials (Jack, Simon, Devin, Luc, Jordan, Justin, Tim)

5:00pm Men’s 3,000 m Steeplechase Trials (Justin)

 

 

Friday May 25, 2012

11:05am Men’s 5,000 m Race Walk (Ben)  

3:20pm Men’s 4x800 m Relay Final, (Jack, Simon, Devin, Luc, Jordan, Justin, Tim)

4:30pm Men’s 5, 000 m Trials, (Theo)

 

 

Saturday May 26, 2012

3:00am Men’s Marathon  (Tim)      

11:20am Men’s 3,000 m Steeplechase Final  (Justin)    

12:10pm Men’s 1,500 m Final (Luc, Jordan, Tim)  

2:35pm Men’s 5,000 m Final (Theo)     

 

 

 

FURTHER INFORMATION

 

NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championship website: http://www.naia.org/SportSelect.dbml?&DB_OEM_ID=27900&SPID=98897&SPSID=644848

 

Indiana Wesleyan University National Championship website: http://www.indwes.edu/naia/

 

Live scoring: http://www.naia.org/SportSelect.dbml?&DB_OEM_ID=27900&SPID=100401&SPSID=648660

 

Complete schedule of events: http://www.indwes.edu/naia/Event-Schedule/

 

Follow UBC Track & Field (@ubctrack) and the NAIA (@Play_NAIA) on Twitter for live updates: https://twitter.com/#!/ubctrack https://twitter.com/#!/Play_NAIA

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