Blue Dragon track and field has some qualifiers for nationals

By Davey Smith

Davey Smith/Collegian - Manny Hernandez, Las Vegas, Nevada, runs during Emporia State midweek invitational meet. Hernandez qualified for nationals in the 800-meter.
Davey Smith/Collegian - Manny Hernandez, Las Vegas, Nevada, runs during Emporia State midweek invitational meet. Hernandez qualified for nationals in the 800-meter.

In a very competitive meet on Wednesday April 24, the Blue Dragons track and field team performed well against such schools as Wichita State, Fort Hays, and Emporia State.

Ashley Claxton took first in the women’s steeplechase, the first running event of the day, after taking an early lead and setting the pace.

After the meet, coach Pat Becher said the team did well, with several athletes now qualified for nationals and many more extremely close to qualifying.

Manny Hernandez qualified for nationals in the men’s 800 meter, with a time of 1:55.12.

Also, as part of two relays, the men’s 4×800 meter and 4×400 meter, Hernandez is now qualified in three events.

The men’s 4×100 team, Devon Peter, Wes Chaney, Austin Vaden, and Elijah McGill, also qualified with an fast time of 42.07.

For the HCC women, Ashley Claxton qualified in steeplechase, with a time of 12:27.13, running an outstanding race from start to finish.

The only HCC athlete to take first in one the events, despite strong performances by all, Claxton took an early lead and set a pace that none of the others could match.

Alexandra VanSyckle, already qualified in women’s shot put, qualified in women’s hammer, throwing 141’ 3 1/2’”

With the season ending for the Blue Dragons, having so many athletes qualify for nationals is good.

Coach Pat Becher said that he was pleased with the teams performance, especially considering the competing schools.

Currently 15 men and three women are qualified for nationals in various events, with several teammates very close.

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