April 29th, 2012
AZUSA, Calif. -- Saturday proved to be yet another great day of competition for the Mustang men as John Gilbertson brought home two individual GSAC Championship titles for TMC. The first event of the day for The Master’s was the final of the men’s 1500m run, featuring junior Gilbertson and senior Nathan Seyler, who advanced to the final from Friday’s preliminary heats. It was an easy victory for Gilbertson, who ran along with the front of the race until the bell lap when he pulled away from the rest of the field. Gilbertson crossed the line in a comfortable 3:56.14, earning his second GSAC individual title in track & field.
Gilbertson was the 2011 GSAC 5000m Champion, a title he defended a few hours later.
Following Gilbertson in the 1500m was Seyler, who narrowly missed hitting a national qualifying mark and All-GSAC honors, finishing fourth in 3:59.45. Running under four minutes in what was only his second collegiate 1500m race as a Mustang, Seyler will be granted one final chance to qualify for nationals at the Occidental Invitational this weekend.
The last event of the 2012 GSAC Championships for TMC was the men’s 5000m final. Coming back from his earlier victory in the 1500m, Gilbertson successfully defended his 2011 title at the longer distance. Running a comfortable pace with the rest of the field through the first two miles, Gilbertson separated himself over the last mile and ran alone to finish in 15:15.04.
“You don’t come to GSAC to run fast. It’s all about position,” Coach Zach Schroeder said. “We were just running for the win today. Neither the fifteen or the five were anything spectacular today, but it’s always fun to win and bring home those titles.”
Gilbertson has a total of four GSAC individual titles to date: one in cross country, one in the 1500m, and two in the 5000m.
When receiving his awards, Gilbertson was announced as one of the best distance runners in the history of the GSAC. “Gilbertson and Pizzo continue to distinguish themselves as two of the best American-born distance runners in the history of the NAIA,” commented Schroeder. “I’m excited to see how far they can go.”
Anthony Pizzo did not compete this weekend, taking time to rest and prepare for a big race at Occidental College this weekend where he hopes to dip under 14 minutes in the 5k.