MARION, Ind. – Lewis-Clark State College freshman Dave Marks posted the best finish by a Warrior male athlete at the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championships when he placed fourth in the 5,000-meter run Saturday at the Indiana Wesleyan University Outdoor Track Complex.
Marks, who is from Lake Oswego, Ore., finished in a time of 14 minutes 44.87 seconds and was declared the fourth place finisher in a photo finish over Eric Burck of Concordia University of Oregon, who received a time of 14:44.88.
It’s the first time a Warrior male has placed in the top five of an event at the NAIA national outdoor track meet. He also earned LCSC five points in the team scoring and those five points helped the Warriors place in a tie for 48th overall.
Warrior coach Mike Collins said Marks’ performance was “amazing” and that he ran a solid race. Collins said Marks ran a 59-second final lap, which helped him place fourth.
The Warriors other two competitors on Saturday, senior Lindsay Szybura in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, and sophomore Kristin Smith in the discus, both placed 10th in their events.
Szybura, competing for the third straight time at nationals in the event, qualified for the finals for the first time this season and was 10th among the 14 runners. The senior finish in a time of 11:24.75, which was a good time for her considering the heat and weather, Collins said.
Smith finished 10th in the discus with a throw of 142-feet 9-inches. She hit that mark in her heat, which she finished third in. Unfortunately for Smith, only the top nine throwers advanced to the finals. Smith was a little more than a foot short of qualifying for the finals in her third and final event at nationals. She also competed in the shot put and weight throw.
Marks is the 11th Warrior to earn All-American status, but just the third to finish in the top four at the national meet. In 2005, Tausha Kuzmic won the women’s marathon title, while last season, Ali Super finished second in the javelin.