The Master's College

Preview: Men's Track at 2013 2013 NAIA Track and Field Outdoor National Championships

May 21, 2013

SANTA CLARITA, Calif – The Master’s College track and field program has more athletes than ever before traveling to the 2013 NAIA Track and Field Outdoor National Championships in Marion, Indiana beginning Thursday. Despite the fact that the majority of TMC’s track athletes are making their national championship debut, a handful of Mustangs have a chance to claim All-American honors.

On the men’s side, John Gilbertson (Saugus, CA) is looking to lead his team as he tries to accomplish something never done before for the Mustangs: claim All-American track and field honors in the 5K and 10K.

In the men’s 10,000 meters, Gilbertson is the first Mustang to qualify for the event since TMC alumnus Jeff Jackson (2011) did in 2009.  Gilbertson is the clear favorite and has the potential to be the college’s first-ever national champion in the race.  His time of 28:30.35 is currently the seventh-fastest time run by an American so far this year and puts more than a minute faster than the closest competitor.

Last year at the national championships, Gilbertson lost his shoe in the prelim of the 5,000 and was barely able to finish the final with his foot blistered and bloodied. Looking to rebound, Gilbertson has the potential to race at the front of the pack as he prepares for the USA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa later in June. On Friday at 4 p.m., Gilbertson is slated to compete in the 5,000 prelims, leading up to the final on Saturday at 2:55 p.m.

In the 3,000-meter steeplechase, David Eller (Los Angeles, CA) will compete in his final race as a Mustang.  Eller currently has the fourth-fastest mark in the NAIA in the event, and if everything goes well, he could be in contention for All-American honors.

Matthew Crichton (Mission Viejo, CA) will be the first Mustang to represent The Master's College in the 1500m.  Coach Schroeder looks for the junior to gain valuable experience, and hopefully close out the year with a personal record.

Finally, on Saturday, John Hurd (Fairview, PA), Tyler Tockstein (Santa Clarita, CA), and Camden McAlister (Saugus, CA) are slated to compete in the marathon, and look to follow in the footsteps of Jackson, the NAIA national champion in the event in 2009.  Weather in Marion can be very difficult to work with, but the trio is ready to toe the line for 26.2 miles.   McAlister is looking forward to his final race as a Mustang, and will hopefully better his time from last year.  Hurd and Tockstein are headed to Marion for their first marathon, and are looking to gain experience competing in their first national championship.

In all, the Mustangs’ line-up for the 2013 NAIA national championships looks to be one of the strongest representing groups from The Master’s College in program history.

Nationals Schedule:

Thursday 5/23 (PST)

12:40pm men’s 1500m: Matthew Crichton  - Prelim

4:10pm men’s 3000m Steeple Chase: David Eller - Prelim

5:45pm men’s 10,000m: John Gilbertson - FINAL

Friday 5/24 (PST)

4:00pm men’s 5000m: John Gilbertson  - Prelim

Saturday 5/25 (PST)

3:00 am marathon: John Hurd, Tyler Tockstein, and Camden McAlister - FINAL

11:20 pm 3000m Steeple Chase Final: David Eller - FINAL

12:10 pm men’s 1500m: Matthew Crichton - FINAL

2:55 pm men’s 5000m: John Gilbertson – FINAL