Neeia Cooperwood broke her own school record in the 200-meter dash during Thursday’s prelims at the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships.
Neeia Cooperwood, a junior from Omaha, Neb., set a Morningside College record in the 200-meters during Thursday’s action at the 2014 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships in Gulf Shores, Ala.
Cooperwood ran a time of 24.05 seconds from lane eight in her preliminary heat to qualify for Saturday’s final. Cooperwood finished third in her heat and has the seventh fastest time among the eight finalists. She broke her own school record time of 24.11 seconds she ran earlier this season at the Sioux City Relays.
Jura Levy of Oklahoma Baptist University had the fastest time in the prelims with a time of 23.54 seconds. Levy was the 2012 NAIA National Champion in both the 100 and 200-meters and is a three-time NAIA Indoor National Champion in the 60 and 200-meters.
Cooperwood also competed in Thursday’s women’s long jump competition, but did not place after she fouled on all three of her attempts.
The Mustangs’ Garret Ehlers, a senior from Ida Grove, Iowa, advanced through Thursday’s prelims in the men’s 3000-meter steeplechase to qualify for Saturday’s final. Ehlers, a two-time NAIA All-American in the event, including last year’s national runner-up, finished third in his preliminary heat with a time of 9:19.88. He has the third fastest time among the finalist behind a 9:18.31 by Stephen Broadhurst of Oklahoma City University and a 9:19.18 by Josh Espinoza of Vanguard University.
The Mustangs qualified for Friday’s final in the men’s 3200-meter relay after they finished second in their Thursday preliminary heat. The Mustangs’ quartet of Drew Schiltz, a freshman from Hinton, Iowa; Alec DeVries, a freshman from Merrill, Iowa; Jacob Willey, a sophomore from Onawa, Iowa; and Jay Welp, a junior from Marcus, Iowa, combined for a time of 7:41.54 to finish second in their heat behind Siena Heights University.
Morningside is the defending NAIA National Champion in the men’s 3200-meter relay, but graduated all but Welp from last year’s championship baton unit.