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EOUís (back row, from left) Talissa Baldovino, Kody Coxen, Hans Roelle, Ryan Rosenau and Doug Benson pose with their all- American trophies, while Jodine Steemers (bottom row, from left) and Ryan Booth do the same.
GENEVA, Ohio — Strong performances and all-American honors highlighted the Eastern Oregon University track and field team’s performance on the final day of the NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championships Saturday at the SPIRE Center.
Talissa Baldovino, Jodine Steemers, Doug Benson, Ryan Booth, Hans Roelle and Ryan Rosenau all earned all-American honors on the track during the three-day event.
Benson collected his all-American honors in the men’s mile with his eighth-place finish behind winner Adam Godwin of Oklahoma Baptist. Benson ran 4-minutes, 15.60-seconds.
“It was a tough race for Doug. It was a tough weekend for him. We had him doing a lot of things,” EOU head coach Ben Welch said. “He competed extremely well all the way through.”
Baldovino earned all-American honors in the women’s 800 meters with her sixth-place finish.
Baldovino held Anika Gasner of Biola off to the finish running 2-minutes, 17.47-seconds. Junia Limage of Concordia won the event in 2:09.75.
“What an amazing weekend for her,” Welch said. “She performed beyond our expectations.”
The men’s 800 meters turned out to be the shootout that everyone expected, with Booth claiming third. Booth recorded a time of 1:53.31 with Roelle running 1:54.12 to place fifth.
“Considering how Hans felt last week he did an incredible job this weekend. Ryan positioned himself well to win it all but it just wasn’t there, despite an excellant effort,” Welch said.
Steemers ran a bold race in the women’s 5,000 meters, running from the front only to get passed late and finish seventh. She took the lead from the gun and held that position through three-quarters of the race.
Steemers finished in 17:36.96 for seventh place.
“What a gutsy performance. She runs well from the front and she was determined to try to win it from there,” Welch said.
The men’s distance-medley relay team of Benson, Booth, Roelle and Rosenau closed out the meet for the Mounties with a seventh-place finish behind event winner Southern Oregon.
Eastern ran the race in 10:08.55.
“The guys were workhorses all week. It was a strong performance to finish off the week,” Welch said. “Rosenau ran really well on his 400 leg to really help us.”
The Mountaineers leave the national meet with two women all-Americans and seven men.
The Mountaineers will be hosting the EOU Blue and Gold Meet March 15, the first outdoor meet of the season. It is the first of two home meets EOU will host this season.