Five Huntington University track and field athletes will compete in the NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships to be held March 9-11, 2006, in Johnson City, Tenn.
Three of the athletes, freshmen Lucas Beach, Nick Johnson and Jill Roughia, will be making their national debut, while junior Cody Hannie and sophomore Joel Sanders hope their previous experiences at the national level will aid their performances this year. All five athletes met qualifying standards set by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics at the beginning of the season in their respective events.
Cody Hannie, an English education major from Fort Wayne, Ind. (Snider High School), is making his third appearance at the Indoor Track and Field National Championships. After competing in the 1000 meter as a freshman and the 3000 meter last year, he qualified this time in the 800 meter run with a time of 1:56.65 on February 25, 2006, at Anderson University. Hannie will run in his semi-final heat on Friday at 4:25 p.m. Finals are set for Saturday at 1:35 p.m.
Joel Sanders, an elementary education major from Fort Wayne, Ind. (Snider High School), qualified again this year in the men’s 1000 meter run. His time of 2:31.18, set on February 18 at DePauw University, broke his own indoor school record in the event. In last year's national competition, Sanders posted the 14th best time of 2:34.23 in a field of 18. He again will toe the line for the 1000 meter preliminary race on Friday at 4:55 p.m. Finals will be held Saturday at 1:55 p.m.
Lucas Beach, a Bible and religion and physical education double major from Lucerne, Ind. (Pioneer High School) steadily has been improving throughout his first season of competition. After meeting the NAIA’s provisional standard for the shot put in his first competition with a toss of 48’ 11”, he has continued to add distance to his mark with his best effort of 52’ 1” coming in his final meet at Anderson University on February 25, 2006. Beach is slated to throw on Saturday at 2:45 p.m.
Nick Johnson, an exercise science major from Huntington, Ind. (Huntington North High School) will compete in the 3000 meters in his first appearance at the National Championships. Johnson first met the NAIA’s provisional standard in the event at Findlay University with a time of 9:01.78, but then shaved almost two seconds off that time with his 8:59.36 effort at DePauw University on February 18, 2006. Johnson will run in the semi-final round of the 3000 meter race at 5:40 p.m. on Friday with the finals on Saturday at 2:20 p.m.
Jill Roughia, a history education major from Bryant, Ind. (Jay County High School), is the lone female qualifier for the Foresters. Roughia will get her introduction to national competition in the 1000 meter run. She met provisional qualification standards with the 3:08.48 time she turned in at DePauw University on February 18, 2006. Roughia will compete in the 1000 meter prelims on Friday at 4:40 p.m. with the finals set for 1:45 p.m. on Saturday.
The Huntington University Foresters compete in 14 intercollegiate sports for men and women. In the past eight years, Huntington has produced 52 NAIA All-America honors and 107 All-America Scholar Athlete honors. Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S.News & World Report ranks Huntington among the top comprehensive colleges in the Midwest.