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Men Claim Third, Women Fifth At NCCAA Indoors

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Photo by Elizabeth Lyons
Tomek Czerwinski set four personal-bests in his heptathlon championship run, claiming NCCAA Field Athlete of the Meet honors.

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February 22, 2014
Joe Reinsch

2014 NCCAA Indoor Track & Field National Championships: Full Results

KANKAKEE, Ill. -- Although Azusa Pacific didn’t have the depth in place to make a run for national titles Saturday at the 2014 National Christian College Athletic Association Indoor Track and Field Championships, the Cougars were as much of a presence throughout the finals as ever while posting a third-place men’s and fifth-place women’s finish Saturday.

The men edged fourth-place Cedarville by a three-point margin for a spot on the podium, tallying 78 points after pushing into third with a second-place finish in the final event of the day, the 4x400 meter relay. That netted eight points for the Cougars, while Cedarville’s fifth-place performance in the relay was only worth four points.

Junior Tomek Czerwinski was named the Field Event Athlete of the Meet, winning the heptathlon with a winning score of 5,124 points to shatter his personal-best by over 200 points. He also placed sixth in the 60 meter hurdles less than 10 minutes after completing his 1000-meter run to wrap up the seven-event heptathlon.

Czerwinski set personal-bests in four of the seven events, establishing new PR marks in the pole vault (14-feet, 2.75-inches), high jump (6-feet, 0.75-inches), shot put (40-feet, 11.75-inches), and long jump (22-feet, 5-inches).

The Cougars were within a half-point of fourth place in the women’s standings, scoring 77.5 points to finish behind fourth-place Indiana Wesleyan’s 78-point tally by a slim margin.

Shorter swept the men’s and women’s titles, scoring 145 points in the men’s tally and 137 points on the women’s side, and Olivet Nazarene was second in both competitions, as well. Bethel (Ind.) claimed a third-place women’s finish.

As Czerwinski started the day with the individual championship in the heptathlon, he was joined in the same event by point-producing performances from Justin Young, who claimed fourth with a personal-best 4,720 points, and Davy Mellado’s 4,255-point seventh-place performance.

Other individual national champions from Azusa Pacific were Jake Hare in the men’s 60-meter hurdles, Reika Kijima in the women’s mile, and Santana Alford in the high jump. The Cougars also featured individual runner-up performances from Diandra Carstensen in the women’s 800, David Schulte in the men’s 400, and the men’s 4x400 meter relay.

Brad Beckwith turned in a fourth-place finish in the men’s shot put, Mellado took fifth in the pole vault, and Peter Buscheck also claimed fifth in the men’s 3000.

Jordan Chesley registered third place in the women’s 60-meter hurdles, and Amber Panapa took third in the women’s shot put, while Faith Douglas added a fourth-place performance to Alford’s win in the women’s high jump.

Azusa Pacific will be off for two weeks until the start of outdoor season, when the Cougars will take part in the Ben Brown Invitational hosted by Cal State Fullerton on Saturday, March 15.