WBU track teams ranked high at NAIA: men finish 6th, women finish 13th

Daniel Coutinho

Staff Writer

Melissa Branch, a sophomore from St. Michael, Barbados, successfully defended her Indoor National title at the NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships held in Johnson City, Tennessee. She ran a blazing 6.92 seconds in the 55 meter dash which was a 1.5 second improvement over her winning time of 7.07 seconds last year. She placed 4 th in the 200 meter dash and received All American honors in that event. Branch looks back on the meet as a “learning curve that the whole team can build on.”

The men’s track team recorded its best finish in 7 years by scoring 24 points and finishing in 6 th place. The women were 13 th overall with 14 points. Five men and one woman from Wayland received All American honors.                  

Dustin Boswell, a junior from Gladstone, Missouri, made All American by placing 2 nd in the decathlon and 6 th in the long jump. He scored a total of 9 points, and said he was “excited to have some tough competition.”

Jamaican freshman Isa Phillips was impressive in the 600 meters and also made All American by finishing 2 nd in that event.

Mike Lozano, a junior from Amarillo, has achieved consecutive All American honors at indoor nationals over the past two years. Last year he was All American in the 600m, and he followed that up by making All American again – this time in the 400m where he got 6 th place.

Patrick Cornelius, Mike Lozano, Isa Phillips and Rohan Thompson received All American honors for finishing 3 rd in the highly competitive mile relay.

Other top ten finishers were Jennifer Baker (7 th – 600m), Lyn Cox (7 th - 400m), Priscilla Edwards (8 th - Pentathlon) and Nenad Stojanovic (10 th – Long Jump).        

The head coach, Chris Beene, was very pleased with some of the individual performances, and with the men’s mile relay team. “We’re a better outdoor team than indoor,” said Beene who looks forward to a top 3 finish for the men and top 6 for the women at national level in the upcoming outdoor season.

Wayland will host The Sooner Athletic Conference meet on April 17, 2004.