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TMC notebook: Spring runs out for TMC

Track and field, golf finish up at NAIA finals

Posted: May 27, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 27, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Graduation is over, school it out, and now, The Master’s College can officially call its 2012 athletic season a wrap.

The last of the school’s athletes still in competition finished up their respective national championships this week.

Seven were in Marion, Ind. at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Outdoor Track and Field National Championships.

Another one, Thane Ringler, was in Salem, Ore. for the NAIA Men’s Golf National Championship.

In the four-day event that concluded on Friday, Ringler made a late surge to finish tied for 13th in a field of 93 players with a total score of 295 (7-over).

He shot a 3-over 75 in the first round at Creekside Golf Course on Tuesday, then came in with rounds of 74, 74, 72 to creep up the leaderboard.

The top 15 finish gives Ringler an automatic exemption into next year’s National Championship in Salem, Ore. and it also helped him earn an NAIA Men’s Golf All-American first-team nod.

Ringler was later named to the NAIA PING All-American first team.

“I’m really proud of his hard work and dedication to excellence,” said TMC head coach Jason Semelsberger, according to the school’s official release. “His heart, his will, and his character was revealed this week. We got to see the continuation of his growth as a player and person here at nationals.”

For the track and field contingent, the results weren’t quite as positive.

Three runners failed to make it past the preliminary races and of the athletes who competed in finals, no one from TMC finished above 12th place.

“We’re excited because we know that this loss will lead to another height,” said TMC head coach Zach Schroeder. “We recognize that you can’t get through the sporting world without some tough losses, and certainly we were dealt one of those (this week).”

Of the athletes representing the Mustangs this year at the NAIA finals, the two with the highest expectations were the pair of record-breaking distance runners John Gilbertson and Anthony Pizzo.

Making their second straight appearance in the 5,000-meter national title race, the two juniors struggled this time around, with Pizzo finishing 12th in 15 minutes, 45.27 seconds and Gilbertson following in 14th in 16:10.29 on Saturday.

In the previous day’s prelims, Gilbertson badly injured his left foot during the race after another runner stepped on his shoe and tore it out of its spike.

Gilbertson had to run the last two-thirds of the race missing one of his shoes.

Though he did manage to run well enough to advance to the finals, he was left with a bloodied, blistered foot.

Pizzo, on the other hand, simply didn’t have his best day.

“It’s kind of disappointing on his end,” Schroeder said of Pizzo, “but I think the drama of having a teammate go down hard in the first heat and it was just kind of an anti-climactic end of the year for the program as a whole.”

Josiah Downer and Camden McAlister also competed for TMC on Saturday in the marathon. Both were making their NAIA Championship debuts, and Downer ended up in 14th with a time of 2:39:54.60 while McAlister took 31st in 2:52:49.40.

“Both of them ran up to where their training and fitness is at this point and it’s exciting,” Schroeder said.

Among those failing to qualify for Saturday’s finals were three sophomores, Ayla Draper, Matthew Crichton and David Eller.

Draper’s time of 1:05.96 in the 400 hurdles wasn’t enough to make it past Thursday’s prelim. In the 3,000 steeplechase, Crichton (9:45.18) and Eller (10:02.22) both finished out of the qualifying on Thursday.



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