GULF SHORES, Ala. – Chanel Roberts and Goabaone Mosheleketi finished as the national runner-up in their respective events on Friday during the second day of the 2017 NAIA Track & Field National Championships held at Mickey Miller Blackwell Stadium.
Roberts took second place in the women's shot put event, while Mosheleketi finished second in the men's long jump, the duo both earning NAIA All-American honors as a top-eight finisher. K'Lan Harris also collected All-American honors in the long jump after placing seventh.
In the team standings, the Blue Raider men sit in a tie for 14th place with 10 total points, while the women's team is in a tie for 21st with eight points.
Roberts earned her runner-up finish after her distance of 14.56 meters was the second best on the day, trailing only national champion Samantha Lierman from Concordia (Neb.), who won the event with a distance of 14.84 meters.
Roberts was the early leader in the event after tossing her 14.56 in her second attempt in flight one. Lierman answered with her eventual winning-distance of 14.84 meters in her very first attempt in flight two. The field was then cut down to nine competitors for the final three attempts, but Roberts was unable to come close to Lierman's winning throw, managing just a 14.27 on her final attempt. It marks the second-straight season Roberts has earned All-American honors after placing third in the shot put last year. She becomes the first two-time All-American in outdoor field events for LWC women's program, collecting eight points for the women's team in the process.
It was a tough way for Mosheleketi to finish second in the long jump as the national championship was decided by the slimmest of margins, just .01 meters.
The junior from Lobatse, Botswana battled back-and-forth with Keiser's (Fla.) Thobias Montler for the title. Mosheleketi started things off with a leap of 7.64 meters in his first attempt, while it took Montler three tries to record a distance of 7.65 meters, putting the duo as the top two qualifiers after the field was cut to nine competitors.
After the first two attempts by the trimmed field, Montler's 7.65 was still the best distance. That was until Mosheleketi soared for a distance of 7.66 meters in his final attempt, narrowly sliding into first place. But Montler also had one final attempt and would match Mosheleketi's 7.66 meters exactly as the duo tied for the best distance after six complete jumps. Per NAIA rule, the ties are broken by the competitors' second-best attempt, which Montler's 7.65 edged Mosheleketi's 7.64 to give Montler the national title. With his second-place finish, Mosheleketi earned eight points towards the men's total team score.
Harris also scored points for the Blue Raider men's team in the long jump after finishing seventh out of 26 competitors with a distance of 7.25 meters, which he recorded on his third jump attempt. He survived the initial cut, but his best distance in his final three attempts was a 7.23. Harris added two points towards the team total. Both Harris and Mosheleketi earn their first-career NAIA All-American honors in their first season with the Blue Raiders.
Michael Redmon also competed in the men's long jump and finished in 21st place. He recorded a distance of 6.81 meters, which came in his second attempt.
Paige Pettell competed in the women's shot put along with Roberts, finishing in 25th place with a distance of 12.68 meters in her first collegiate outdoor national championship.
In a field of 41 competitors that featured six heats, each heat winner and the final two remaining fastest times advanced to Saturday's final. All three Blue Raiders would end up missing the cut after Robinson placed 14th at 10.54 seconds, Hallmon finished 15th at 10.56 meters and Keeling placed 26th at 10.71. The last non-heat winning time that qualified for the finals was 10.42 seconds.
The final day of the championships are set for Saturday beginning at 6 a.m. CT with the marathon. Mosheleketi and Anthony Thompson are the first Blue Raiders to compete at 1:30 p.m. CT in the men's triple jump finals. Pettell then competes in the women's discus throw finals at 2 p.m. CT. The 4x100 meter men's relay team of Keeling, Robinson, Hallmon and Christian Davis is up next in the finals at 2:50 p.m. CT, followed by Cameron Murphy in the men's 400 hurdles finals at 4:20 p.m. CT. Robinson and Hallmon round out the championships for LWC with the 200 meter dash finals at 5:20 p.m. CT.