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Tech men, women win track titles

The Indiana Tech men’s and women’s track teams repeated as NAIA Outdoor Track and Field champions Saturday, the men in less dramatic fashion than the women.

The women’s title was secured in the final race, the 1,600 meter relay, when a mistake by Oklahoma Baptist opened the door for the Warriors to claim the crown in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Before the 1,600 meter relay, British Columbia was up front with 95 points, Oklahoma Baptist with 93, and Indiana Tech at 92. On the third and final hand-off, Oklahoma Baptist dropped the baton.

The Warriors were alone up front and finished six seconds ahead of second-place Oklahoma Baptist in 3 minutes, 39.88 seconds.

Tech was able to take the team title over Oklahoma Baptist, 102-101.

“You always feel bad when you want to put your best team against their best team,” Indiana Tech coach Doug Edgar said. “It turns out anticlimactic. The drama is gone. We had seniors (Chloe Brooks and Zalika Dixon) leading off and anchoring and they felt confident. They went out just the way they wanted to go.”

The Warriors had to finish ahead of Oklahoma Baptist in the 1,600 meter relay to finish at the top of the standings.

British Columbia was done competing for the day but OBU had taken individual titles in the 100, 200 and 400 earlier in the day.

“British Columbia definitely overachieved,” Edgar said. “They were coming in expecting to score about 70 points and they scored over 90.”

The Tech men won their second consecutive outdoor title after the 200-meter finals where Tech runners finished third, fifth, sixth, and eighth.

“We locked it up going into the 200,” Edgar said. “We had to push through the prelims to get bodies into the finals. It was an impressive day.”

The Warriors were the top seed going into the men’s 1,600 relay finals, but a dropped cost them and they finished eighth.

“We’re not sure if the baton was knocked out or the intent,” Edgar said. “We just jogged it in to get our point and Wayland Baptist finished in a time slower than our preliminary time.”

The Tech men scored 105 points over the three-day competition, finishing ahead of Wayland Baptist’s 93. The men also won the NAIA indoor title this season.

Both Indiana Tech teams had four national championships each. The men’s 3,200 meter relay team of Matt Adair (Concordia), Devon Marrow, Drew Mueller and John Hester (Carroll) won over British Columbia by .43 seconds, winning in 7:31.12.

Dontaey Paige (Heritage) won the men’s 100 meter dash in a photo finish, winning by .004 seconds in 10.48.

Robert Rose took the title in the 400 hurdles (51.12) as did defending champion Dixon (58.49) on the women’s side. Deshawn Marshall defended his indoor title in the 400 meter dash in 47.06.

In addition to the 1,600 relay, the women’s 400 relay team also took the title by .12 seconds over Oklahoma Baptist in 44.85. Darice Bowie won the women’s triple jump (41-3.75)

“Everyone competed with a lot of heart,” Edgar said. “They were the epitome of a team.”