Morningside athletes produced a pair of seventh place finishes on May 23 at the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships.

Andrew Christen

Morningside College had two seventh place finishes on May 23 at the 2014 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships in Gulf Shores, Ala.

The Mustangs’ Andrew Christen, a junior from Anselmo, Neb., cleared 6-7 in the men’s high jump to finish in a seven-way tie for seventh place. The performance earned Christen NAIA All-America recognition, which goes to the top eight finishers in each of the individual and relay events.

Tori Brooks of Davenport University won the high jump with a height of 7-1/2 to add to his national title in the high jump he won during the indoor season.

Morningside also had an All-America performance in the men’s 3200-meter relay, where 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 7:46.22 for a seventh place finish. Welp was the Mustangs’ only returning runner who didn’t graduate from last year’s NAIA National Championship 3200-meter relay team.

Jay Welp

Indiana Tech finished first in Friday’s final with a time of 7:31.12, while pre-meet favorite Oklahoma Baptist University, which finished second behind Morningside last year and had the nation’s fastest time during the regular season, failed to advance past Thursday’s prelims.

Neeia Cooperwood, a junior from Omaha, Neb., qualified for Saturday’s final in the women’s 400-meter dash after she won her Friday preliminary heat with a time of 56.11 seconds. Cooperwood ran the third fastest time among the finalists behind a 54.59 by Stacy Warrior of Oklahoma Baptist University and a 55.08 by Sandrae Farquharson of Doane College.

Aside from helping the Mustangs finish seventh in the men’s 3200-meter relay, Welp also competed in Friday’s 800-meter run preliminaries and finished fifth in his heat and 24th overall with a time of 1:54.72.