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Last Friday and Saturday, a handful of members of The Master’s University men’s track and field team toed the line on the two-day Ben Brown Invitational hosted by Cal State Fullerton.

Andrew Dolan started things off for TMU by running a debut in the men’s steeplechase.  Although suffering with back pain the second half of the race, Dolan was able to finish with a time of 10 minutes, 40.72 seconds.

The Mustangs also had representatives competing in all three heats of the men’s 5000m.  Leading the TMU in the A heat was Joshua Sherfey, clocking an NAIA national qualifying mark of 14:55.01.  This is Sherfey’s second national qualifying mark achieved this season as he had already qualified to compete in the marathon in February.  Next in was Alec Franco, running a new lifetime best of 15:21.55, followed by Andrew Orona (15:43.99).

Competing in the B of the 5000m heat was Joshua Nunez, Stephen Pacheco, and Tim Gutierrez, posting marks of 15:48.30, 15:59, and 16:04.92, respectively.  Both Nunez and Gutierrez set new personal bests.

The second day of the Ben Brown Invitational began with Justin Harris racing the men’s 800m.  Harris’ 2:08 was a two second improvement on his 800m leg of the men’s DMR at the Rossi Relays just two weeks ago.

Sam Jaimes posted a time of 11.37 in the men’s 100m; finishing fifth in his heat, Jaimes was just off his personal best in the event.

In the men’s 200m, Christian Carter ran a collegiate debut of 22.90. A few hours later, Carter returned to the track to compete in the men’s 400m, posting a time of 50.86.

Jaimes also posted a new personal best of 23.19 in the men’s 200m.

Max Hudson made history for TMU by becoming the first male athlete for the university to compete in the men’s 110 high hurdles, finishing his heat in 18.54.

Finishing the day for the Mustangs and racing the elite heat of the men’s mile was team captain Skyler Mikesell.  Posting another personal best for the Mustangs, Mikesell clocked in at 4:19.98.

Women’s track and field

Over the weekend, the women’s track & field team competed at the Ben Brown Invitational at Cal State Fullerton.

The meet kicked off Friday evening with the “distance carnival”, showcasing the 3k steeplechase and multiple heats of the 5000m.

Leading the way for the  Mustangs was Rachael Ingoldsby in the steeplechase.  Competing in her first steeplechase of the year, Ingoldsby posted a new personal best of 11:19.33, a mark that qualifies her to compete at the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships in May.

Also competing in the women’s steeplechase was freshman Ariana Sciarra.  Running a fantastic debut in the event, Sciarra posted an impressive 12:10.93.

Competing in the “A” heat of the women’s 5000m was Mikala Fairchild and Morgan Pedrick.  Fairchild posted a time of 17:59.14 just a few seconds off her personal best and the NAIA national qualifying standard.

On Saturday, Tess Thompson and Emily Hess competed in the 100m. Thompson led the way by finishing fourth in her respective heat after running a personal best of 13.45.  Following Thompson, teammate Hess posted a time of 14.06.

Later in the day, Thompson would also run the 200m where she achieved another personal best with a time of 27.66.  Thus far, Thompson has run a PR in every event she’s competed in this season.  Hess also ran a personal best in the event (29.62).

Rounding out the day for the Mustangs was Rylee Bishop in the women’s 800m.  Competing in the fastest heat of the event, Bishop clocked a solid 2:23.46

Men’s basketball

Last Tuesday, the men’s basketball team won its first-ever GSAC Tournament championship and qualified for the national tournament for the first time in 17 years with a thrilling 79-74, double-overtime victory over top-seeded Hope International in Fullerton.

Running the table through the conference tournament on their way to a seven-game winning streak, TMU continues to build on one of the greatest turnarounds in college basketball history.  After winning just four games last year, the Mustangs are now 26-4 as they enter play as the GSAC’s automatic bid to the 2017 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship this week in Kansas City, Missouri.

It was fitting that the two All-GSAC players, Reid Shackelford and Lawrence Russell, paced the Mustangs in victory.  Shackelford led all scorers with 24 points while Russell, who played all 50 minutes, put together one of his typical outstanding lines: 21 points, six rebounds and five steals.

Freshman standout Timothy Soares had, perhaps, his biggest game to date, notching a double-double with 10 points and a team-high 14 rebounds.  Not to be overlooked, Hansel Atencia, who came off the bench and hit some clutch shots en route to 12 points.  His three assists tied teammate Travis Yenor for team-high honors.

TMU now prepares for their time at the 80th Annual Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship in Kansas City, Missouri, from March 15-21. This Thursday, No. 2 seed TMU will take on No. 7 seed Benedictine (KS) in the first round of the national tournament. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m. (PDT) at the Municipal Auditorium.

Women’s basketball

Last Tuesday, the women’s basketball team was handed a 61-52 loss in the 2017 GSAC Women’s Basketball Tournament championship game on the campus of Hope International University in Fullerton.

The loss moved No. 19 TMU’s record to 22-8 while No. 7 Westmont improved to 27-4.  Notably, Tuesday marked TMU’s third appearance in the tournament championship game in the last four years.

Ashley Bartow, who scored 10 points in the fourth quarter, led all scorers with 19 total points. Bianca Cubello finished the evening with a well-rounded performance by scoring 14 points, grabbing a team-high seven rebounds, and posting two blocks and two steals.

The Mustangs finished the evening by going 19-50 from the field, 7-15 ­­on three-pointers, and 7-9 on free throws.

The Mustangs now prepare for their time at the 37th Annual Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship in Billings, Montana, from March 15-21. This Wednesday, No. 5 seed TMU will take on No. 4 seed Our Lady of the Lake (TX) in the first round of the national tournament. Tipoff is set for 8:45 p.m. (PDT) at the Rimrock Auto Arena.

Baseball

A day after beating No. 21 Westmont 10-4 last Friday in Santa Barbara, TMU was handed two 2-0 losses from the Warriors.

The sweep was the second the Mustangs have suffered this year, and they saw their overall record drop to 14-13 and their GSAC mark to 5-7.  They trail first-place Vanguard by six games.

The Mustangs will get nearly a week off now before returning home next weekend to host Biola in the first of a three-game series at Lou Herwaldt Stadium.  Friday’s first pitch will be thrown at 3:00 p.m.

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