Four Foresters qualify to NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships

Huntington, Ind.— Four Huntington College track and field Foresters qualified to the NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships to be held Thursday through Saturday, March 6-8, in Johnson City, Tenn. Erin Abbey, Melissa Bortner, Natalie Guenin, and John Ngure qualified in their respective events by meeting specific times or distances set by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) prior to the start of the indoor season.

Erin Abbey, a senior educational ministries major from Millbury, Ohio (Lake High School), qualified in the long jump at DePauw University in February with a leap of 17’6.75”. Going into the national long jump competition on Friday at 2:45 p.m., Abbey is seeded 15th. Last spring she earned All-American honors at the outdoor championships as a member of the Forester’s 4x800 relay. She also finished 19th in the long jump. Abbey is a three-time All-American Scholar Athlete.

Melissa Bortner, a junior English education major from Huntington, Ind. (East Noble High School), qualified in the 55 meter high hurdles with a time of 8.86 at DePauw University in February. She has since lowered her time to 8.84 seconds. This being her first trip to nationals, she is seeded 21st. Bortner will be the first Forester out of the blocks on Friday, as she is set to run the preliminaries at 1:00 p.m. If she qualifies to finals, she will run at 2:15 p.m. on Saturday.

Natalie Guenin, a senior elementary education major from Wabash, Ind. (Northfield High School), qualified in the 5000 meter run with a time of 18:35.08. Guenin is no stranger to national competition as she finished 38th in the cross country nationals last fall and ran on two other occasions at the cross country national championships. This, however, is Guenin’s first trip to a national track and field competition. She is seeded 20th for the Friday, 6:35 p.m. preliminaries. Finals will be held at 4:15 p.m. on Saturday for those who make it out of preliminaries.

John Ngure, a senior exercise science major from Thaika, Kenya, qualified in the 5000 meter run with a time of 5:22.79. Ngure is an eight-time All-American in cross country and track. He is seeded 18th in the 5000 meters. Ngure will be the final competitor on Friday for the Foresters beginning his race at 7:15 p.m. for the semi-finals. Finals will run at 4:40 p.m. on Saturday for qualifiers.

The Forester track and field teams are coached by Tom King. For more information on the track program, visit

The Huntington College Foresters compete in 14 intercollegiate sports for men and women. In the past five years HC has produced 39 All-Americans and 67 All-America Scholar Athletes. Huntington College is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 60 academic concentrations. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington College is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in Huntington, Indiana.

# # #


Heather Barkley
Director of Communications
Joanne Green
Sports Information Director