Garret Ehlers and Neeia Cooperwood each turned in All-America performances on May 24 at the NAIA Track & Field National Championships.
Garret Ehlers, a senior from Ida Grove, Iowa, closed out his Morningside College career with a third place finish in the 3000-meter men’s steeplechase on May 24 at the 2014 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships in Gulf Shores, Ala.
Ehlers ran a time of 9:06.71 to finish just shy of his Morningside record time of 9:06.17 he set last year. Ehlers earned NAIA All-America honors in the event for the third straight year after he finished sixth as a sophomore and was the NAIA national runner-up as a junior.
Justin Kent of the University of British Columbia finished first with a time of 8:52.92 and Louis Falland of Cornerstone University was the runner-up with a time of 9:02.35. Ehlers was the third fastest qualifier coming into the final after a time of 9:19.88 in Thursday’s prelims.
Neeia Cooperwood, a junior from Omaha, Neb., became a NAIA All-American for the sixth and seventh times of her Morningside career during Saturday’s action.
Cooperwood’s best finish came in the women’s 200-meter dash, where she blazed to a school-record time of 24.02 seconds en route to a fourth place finish. She broke her own previous Morningside standard of 24.05 seconds in Thursday’s prelims, which ranked seventh among the finalists.
Jura Levy of Oklahoma Baptist University finished first with a time of 23.16 seconds to add to her first place finish in the 100-meters earlier in the day. Levy also doubled in the 100 and 200-meters at the 2012 NAIA Outdoor Championships and is a three-time indoor national champ in both the 60 and 200-meters.
Cooperwood finished sixth in the 400-meters with a time of 55.73 seconds to finish just off her school-record time of 55.41 she ran at this year’s Sioux City Relays. Stacy Warrior of Oklahoma Baptist won the race with a time of 53.72 seconds.
Cooperwood had qualified for Saturday’s final of the 400-meter dash with the third fastest time of 56.11 seconds in Friday’s prelims.