CBU runners continue to chase spots to qualify for championship.
Just two meets stand between California Baptist University’s distance track and postseason competition.
With championship meets looming, Lancer athletes are making a final push for spots in both the PacWest and NCAA championships.
“We’re definitely ahead of where we were a year ago,” said Dr. Ben Gall, head coach of track. “We really measure ourselves by how many students we can qualify for the conference meet and then the national meet and then how we do at those two meets.”
Multiple runners for both teams have already earned provisional qualifying times for the NCAA Division II Championships.
One of those athletes, Emeline Delanis, junior business administration major, picked up a Division II provisional mark when she set a CBU record in the 3000-meter steeplechase.
“(Delanis) is just a hard worker,” Gall said. “She’s very diligent in what she does and really balances every area of her life to maximize her potential and just this last year, she’s really just starting to see that potential come out.”
Delanis said she has lofty goals for her third year at CBU and that running more miles has helped her improve.
“ I hope to do 5K and steeplechase at nationals and for that, (be All-American),” Delanis said.
McMarshall Hartzenburg, freshman psychology major, continues to carry over success from an impressive 2017 cross country campaign. Hartzenburg earned PacWest Track Athlete of the Week honors after competing in just his second track meet this season.
“I see this (award) as motivation,” Hartzenburg said. “It helps me to push a little bit harder just to get better and try to keep my feet on the ground too and not get a big head.”
Hartzenburg gave credit to his teammates and coaches in contributing to his remarkable freshman year and said big things are in store for Lancer runners as the season continues. He also added he expects his team to perform even better.
“We’ve been working very hard,” Hartzenburg said. “I expect that most of us will be performing much better and hopefully a few of us can qualify for nationals and do well at nationals.”
This weekend, the Lancers athletes will be at both the Mt. Sac Relays and the Bryan Clay Invitational at Azusa Pacific University. The PacWest Championship Meet is a week after those meets, taking place April 27-28 in Fresno.
“This next week is really a big chance for a lot of them who are close to national qualifying marks to get those and so that’s our goal,” Gall said, “After that just rest up for the PacWest the following week in Fresno.”