As January ends, the Tennessee Wesleyan indoor track and field teams have shown potential through the first two competitions of the season. The women currently rank third in the USTFCCCA South Region polls, while the men rank second in the South Region and 15th in the first NAIA national rankings.
The season started off quick as Junior Josh Parsons blazed his first 60m race of the season, finishing in 6.80 seconds to become the second-fastest Bulldog in school history – trailing only 2015 NAIA National Champion Avery Hubbard. Parsons qualified for the 2017 NAIA Indoor National Championships with that mark, and currently ranks #3 in the NAIA. Junior Josh Parsons is currently ranked #3 in the NAIA in the 60m Dash.
A week later at the Birmingham Crossplex, Junior Cadarius Harris won the 60m dash in 6.86 seconds at the Emory Invitational, narrowly holding off Parsons for the win (6.87 seconds) and booking his ticket to the National Championships as well. Harris is currently ranked #6 in the NAIA after finishing 16th in the 60m as a sophomore.
Junior Chaz Hawkins ran a season best 8.34 seconds in the 60m Hurdles, hitting the B standard and punching his ticket to nationals as well. Hawkins, a returning All-American in the 110m Hurdles, finished 11th at nationals last year in the 60m Hurdle event. Freshman Nic Palmer became the second-fastest Bulldog in school history, running 8.53 seconds to trail only Hawkins in the record books. Though Palmer narrowly missed the 8.42-second qualifying mark, he currently ranks 28th in the NAIA.
Sophomore Bryce Choate rounds out the National Qualifiers for the Bulldogs through the first month of the season after running a school-record 1:54.31 at the Emory Invitational, finishing second in a loaded field. Choate broke the Bulldog's school record, previously held by current Bulldog assistant coach Jacob Simmons, by almost three seconds and became the first Bulldog to qualify for nationals in the event. Choate is currently ranked #6 in the NAIA in the 800m. Freshman Christos Zachariou won the third section of the 800m, finishing in 1:57.25 seconds, missing the national qualifying mark by less than one second. Zachariou currently ranks #35 in the NAIA.
On top of Choate's school record in the 800m, two other Bulldogs have set school records this season. Chris Anderson broke his own indoor school record in the Shot Put, and Els von Hooijdonk set the indoor school record in the Triple Jump.
The Bulldogs compete this weekend at East Tennessee State University in the Buccaneer Invitational.