Collier and Holding are Pentathlon All-Americans

Submitted by: Ron Smith - March 6th, 2014


All-American's Kristan Holding and Becky Collier with Multi-Events Coach Josh Priester

All-American’s Kristan Holding and Becky Collier with Multi-Events Coach Josh Priester

Westmont’s Becky Collier and Kristan Holding earned All-American honors competing in the pentathlon at the NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships in Geneva, Ohio.

Collier, a freshman, tallied 3,395 points to claim fifth place. Holding, who is a sophomore, finished in eighth place with 3,338 points to take Indoor All-American honors for the second year in a row.

“I don’t know when we have had two all-Americans in one event,” said Westmont head coach Russell Smelley. “I can’t remember it happening.”

In the 60 meter hurdles, the first of the five events, Collier posted a time of 9.33 and finished eighth while Holding placed 12th in the field of 16 with a time of 9:57. The second event proved to be decisive for both athletes who tied for third with a jump of 1.65 meters (5-5). The high jumper performance moved Collier into third after two events and Holding into fifth.

In the shot put, Holding took eighth place with a throw of 9.66 meters (31-8.5) while Collier managed a 14th place finish with a mark of 8.90 meters (29-2.5). In the fourth event, which is the long jump, the Westmont athletes tied again, finishing sixth with a mark of 5.15 meters (16-10.75). At the end of four events, Holding was in sixth place and Collier in seventh.

“They were one point apart through four events,” noted Smelley of his pentathletes. “It came down to the 800 meters. Kristan ran a personal best and so did Becky to secure their places. It was outstanding.”

Collier improved two places with a third place finish in the 800 meters in a time of 2:29.52. Holding was the tenth runner to cross the finish line in a time of 2:34.20, but that was good enough to hold on to the final spot for All-American honors.

Two Westmont relay teams competed in the semifinals and advanced to the finals. The men’s 4 x 800 meter team of David Donner, Evan Kramer, John Nealon and Nate Evans finished third in the first heat of the semis to earn a spot in Friday’s final. The Warriors posted a time of 7:42.63 which was the eighth fastest of the day.

The women’s distance medley relay team of Ali Johnson, Elysia Hodges, Ceci Adams and Jessica Meyers claimed second place in the second heat to earn an automatic qualification to Saturday’s final.

“The women had a very nice lead off from Ali in the 800 meters, but were back a bit in fifth place at the hand-off,” reported Smelley. “Elysia took them from fifth to first with a (time of) 53.7 in the 400 meter leg. Ceci kept the lead with a run of 2:19 in the 1200 meters and Jessica Meyers and was only passed at the last 50 meters or so in the mile.”

Three additional relay teams competed but did not advance. The women’s 4 x 400 meter relay team of Lorien Patmore, Kaylin Koopmans, Becky Collier and Amber Collier ran a time of 4:08.22 and finished eighth in heat two. The men’s 4 x 400 team of Bryan Avendano, Ben McCollum, Tyler Moore and Christian Hatchett finished sixth with a time of 3:17.28. The men’s distance medley relay team of Evan Kramer, Bradford Ortlund, Nate Evans and Evan Bradford recorded a time of 10:08.96 to finished seventh in the first heat.

“There was nothing to be disappointed about today at all,” said Smelly. “We had some very fine performances all around.”

The national championship continues tomorrow with several Warriors set to compete. Hodges will compete in the women’s 600 meter semis and Meyers will compete in the semifinals for the mile. Holding will move to the long jump in an effort to earn another All-American title. Kelly Collins was also scheduled for the 3,000 meter semifinals, but the entrants have been advanced directly to the finals on Saturday.

On the men’s side, Moore will compete in the 400 meter semifinals.