GULF SHORES, Ala. – The Bethany College track and field season came to a close Saturday afternoon at the NAIA National Championships.
The Swedes started the championships strong with two All-American performances on the first day, a sixth-place finish in men's javelin by Seth Derr and an eighth-place finish in women's javelin by Miranda Burton. Following a day off, Bethany was represented by senior high jumper, Kaitlyn Davis.
Davis, a senior from Hill City, Kan., finished tied for ninth place. Davis cleared 1.68 meters (5-6), but was unable to make the 1.71 meters (5-7 feet) mark. Davis was part of eight total athletes who bowed out at 1.71 meters. If Davis would have cleared 1.71 meters, she would have finished no worse than third place.
Davis missed her first two attempts at 1.63 meters (5-4.17 feet) before clearing the bar. She also missed on her first two attempts at the 1.68 meters mark while making her third and final attempt.
"I am very proud of Kaitlyn for a very gutsy performance," Bethany coach Ken Ciolek said. "With a loaded field of 29 competitors, she competed remarkably well and was able to set an outdoor personal best. Kaitlyn cleared the same height as seven of the top 10 competitors, but ties for ninth on misses. She was right there with the top jumpers in the country, but it just wasn't in the cards for us today."
It was definitely a quality meet for the Swedes.
“I am extremely proud of how well our student-athletes competed,” Ciolek said. “We had three Top 10 performances, two All-Americans and almost came away with a third All-American. This ranks as one of the top finishes the Swedes have had in recent years, and I am extremely excited to see the program continue to develop. We now have some down time as we wait for Seth to compete at Junior Nationals, July 3, out in Eugene, Oregon."
In addition, Davis was named an All-KCAC Champion of Character Award winner for both Indoor Track and Field as well as volleyball. Davis, along with Burton, also received the National Champions of Character award in Outdoor Track and Field. She was also a 2014 Daktronics-NAIA Women's Track and Field Scholar-Athlete. To receive the award a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 and must be a junior.