Eleven Foresters will represent Huntington University at the 2023 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships slated for May 24-26 at Indiana Wesleyan’s Wildcat Track & Field Complex in Marion. (The NAIA Outdoor Nationals took place after the Huntington Tab’s deadline.) The Forester women, ranked fifth in the latest USTFCCCA National Rating Index, are entered in three running events, four field events and the heptathlon. Freshman Addy Wiley, one of the nation’s top runners, will toe the line of the 800 and 1500 as the top seed in each race. Her time of 2:05.18 in the 800 is three seconds fastest than the second seed. Her 1500 time of 4:12.53 is five seconds faster than her nearest competitor. Wiley will also run a leg of the 4x800 meter relay team, picked to finish sixth, along with Emily Tedder, Mackenzie Brewer and Abbey Gentz. Tedder also earned a spot in the 1500 as the No.12 seed. Junior Erica Xayarath will look to defend her national title in high jump from a year ago. As the top-seed, the Indiana Tech transfer is favored to win again having posted the nation’s highest mark of 1.74 meters at the IWU Polar Bear Invite. She will also represent HU in long jump and triple jump as the 26th and 31st seeds respectively. Graduate student Destiny Copeland will join Xayarath in long jump and triple jump. After finishing second last year in both events, the Tech transfer is seeded 3rd and 5th this season. The Chesapeake (Va.) native will also compete for the first time on the big stage in the heptathlon where she is picked to finish seventh. Junior Aanyah Wright will be making her debut at nationals in the hammer throw as the No.26 seed. On the men’s side, Huntington will compete in five running events. Senior Dylan Felger enters the meet as the No.2 seed in the 400 meter hurdles. He brought home the national title in 2021 and was an All-American last spring having finished third. Over the course of his Forester career, the Ossian native has racked up two national titles and six All-American praises. As the No.13 seed, senior Kent Yoder will line-up for the 10,000 meters as will junior Austin Liepe who ranks 30th. Liepe is also slated to run the 5,000 meters where he is seeded 25th. Sophomore Zach Collins will represent the Foresters in two events having qualified for the 200 meters as the 30th seed and the 400 meters as the 16th seed.
Tab staff - Tuesday, May 30, 2023 4:16 PM