Five TMC men opened the 2012 track season on Sunday at the Surf City USA Half Marathon in Huntington Beach. Among a field of over 17,000 participants, the five Mustang athletes all finished in the top 15 overall and qualified to race the in the marathon at the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships in May. In order to qualify for that event at the national championships, a half-marathon time of 1:15:00 or better must be posted on a sanctioned course.
John Gilbertson led the way for TMC, finishing second overall with a time of 1:09:00, setting a new school record in his half-marathon debut. This was also the first half-marathon for junior Anthony Pizzo (1:12:06, 8th), junior Camden McAlister (1:12:51, 10th), and sophomore Tyler Tockstein (1:14:49, 15th). Senior Josiah Downer ran a comfortable 1:12:40 and finished ninth overall, pacing McAlister and Tockstein. This was Downer’s second year in a row qualifying for the national meet in the marathon.
Of the five TMC runners, only McAlister and Tockstein will actually compete in the marathon at the nationals. Gilbertson, Pizzo (2011 5k All-American), and Downer will look to hit qualifying marks in the 5k and 10k later in the year.
Get ready for an exciting track season as the Mustangs look forward to bringing more athletes than ever before to the NAIA National Championships in Marion, Indiana, at the end of May.