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Flurry Of First-Place Finishes Earns NNU Team Of The Week
Senior John Van Beuren took first in both the shot put and weight throw events. His 51 foot, 7.25 inch mark in the shot put broke the NNU indoor record, which was previously set in 2011.
Senior John Van Beuren took first in both the shot put and weight throw events. His 51 foot, 7.25 inch mark in the shot put broke the NNU indoor record, which was previously set in 2011.

Monday, December 11, 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. –  Participating in its first indoor track and field meet of the season, the Northwest Nazarene men’s track and field team came away with seven first-place finishes to earn this week’s GNAC/Red Lion Co-Teams of the Week.

On Saturday, the Nighthawks produced high-profile performances at the Jackson’s Open, hosted by Boise State at the Idaho Center Jackson’s Track. Highlighted by senior John Van Beuren’s school record in the shot put, the Northwest Nazarene men placed first in five field and two track events.

“I’m very happy with the number of events we won today,” said Northwest Nazarene head track and field coach John Spatz. “Overall, our coaching staff was very pleased with the team’s effort and quality results early on.”

Van Beuren broke the NNU school indoor shot put record with a mark of 51 feet, 7.25 inches, in an event he won by over two feet. He also placed first in the weight throw at 57 feet, 9 inches, which is No. 10 on the GNAC All-Time Top-10 List and an NCAA Championships provisional qualifying mark.

Freshman Godfrey Kemboi built upon his impressive cross country season after beating out three other Nighthawks for a first-place finish in the 3,000-meter event. Kemboi edged teammates Rylan Manzer, Pablo Lopez and Peyton Brothers with a time of 8:58.75.

In the high jump, sophomore Micah Tranch won after recording 6 feet, 4.25 inches. He outjumped a pair of NNU teammates who both recorded marks of 6 feet, 0.50 inches.

Freshman Elijah Castro had an impressive inaugural showing after winning both the long and triple jump. In the long jump, he edged second place by a quarter-inch with a mark of 22 feet, 1.75 inches. On his first attempt in the triple jump, Castro comfortably emerged victorious with a mark of 42 feet, 8.75 inches.

Capping Northwest Nazarene’s first-place finishes was its 1,600-meter relay team of Logan Blake, Dakota Tidwell, Zachary Magee and Ebu Camara. The four combined for a 3:34.15 finish, 10 seconds ahead of second place. The event’s runner-up was another Northwest Nazarene squad comprised of Tranch, Ryan Chism, Keffery Stellway and Blake Johnason.

“With seven event wins on Saturday and a number of top-five finishes, the men's team turned in one of the best early-season meets in recent history,” said Spatz. “The solid performances and unity of the team I hope shows that this year could be something special for these men.”

The Nighthawks have the rest of December off and resume action on Jan.12 at the Ed Jacoby Invitational in Nampa, Idaho.

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