GULF SHORES, Ala. – It was a great performance for Bethany College Thursday on the opening day of the NAIA Track and Field Championships.
Seth Derr finished in sixth place in the men's javelin event and Miranda Burton finished eighth on the women's side.
Derr, a freshman from Philipsburg, earned an All-American nod. His best throw, like Burton’s, was his third throw. After throws of 52.91m (173-7 feet) and 60.40m (198-2 feet), Derr unleashed a throw of 62.34m (204-6 feet). In the finals Derr fouled on his first throw, but responded with throws of 61.97m (203-3 feet) and 60.07m (197-1 feet).
Derr was just off pace for a Top-4 finish. He was two meters away from passing David Orr from Berea College and Tyler Callahan from Concordia University of Oregon, both of whom are juniors. Derr's throw was also just shy of the school record, which he set earlier this year at the Drake Relays, of 63.87m (209-6).
Burton, a sophomore from Holyrood, finished in eighth place and also earned All-American honors with a throw of 40.22m (131-11 feet). Burton had throws of 37.45m (122-10 feet) and 37.17m (124-11 feet) before launching her best throw. She was down to her final throw. With it she launched the javelin into fifth place in her flight and into the top nine throwers, good enough to get her into the finals.
After her throw of 40.22 meters, Burton threw a 39.68m (130-2 feet), followed by a throw of 35.65m (116-11 feet) and 36.04m (118-3 feet). She was less than two feet from placing in the Top 6.
"We are so incredibly proud of both Miranda and Seth," Bethany coach Ken Ciolek said. "They came ready to compete against a loaded field and they competed remarkable. I could not be any happier for them. We not get a day to relax before Kaitlyn Davis competes in the high jumpand we look forward to her carrying the momentum."
The Swedes have one event left at the NAIA National Track & Field Championships. Davis will compete in the women's high jump on Saturday.