(PITTSBURG, Kan.) – It was an exciting weekend at Trinidad State Junior College accentuated by its first ever crowning of an Indoor Track and Field national champion when Elias Gedyon won the 1000m on Saturday afternoon at the NJCAA National track meet in Pittsburg, Kansas. The sophomore sped to a victory and a spot on the top step of the medal stand with a time of 2:29.85. Earlier in the day he and Daniel Haymes each placed in the mile. Haymes also ran to a medal in the 3000m on Friday night.
Overall it was an extremely successful first foray into the indoor track and field scene. Coach Lauren Martin was extremely happy with the efforts of these two young men that she originally recruited for the Cross Country team. "Both Dan and Elias performed superbly this weekend. We've been preparing them for the national championships all year. It was great to have Dan start us off as well as he did, and then to have Elias win a National Title for TSJC in our first year is incredible. I've been very fortunate to have great athletes who are so willing to work hard and trust the training I give them. I am beyond pleased with our performances, and couldn't be more excited for the future of the program."
Haymes got the Trojans off to a great start on Friday evening running the 3000m in 8:30.22, just ten seconds behind the top spot claimed by Central Arizona's Gilbert Kigan. His effort was good enough for fourth place in the nation. Gedyon then ran the 1000m prelims posting the necessary time to move into the finals on Saturday afternoon.
One of the feature races of the meet was the Mile run. Both Trojan runners were in the field and both managed to race their way onto the podium. Once the dust had settled Gedyon was second with a time of 4:17.14, and Haymes was seventh with a 4:18.92. Central's Kigan won the mile completing his sweep of the three long races as he had already won both the 3000m and the 5000m.
TSJC's final event was the 1000m final. Gedyon ran an amazing race and claimed the top spot with a time of 2:29.85. His national championship performance was the first ever for TSJC in indoor track. The two TSJC athletes scored enough points to finish 12th in the nation as a team, placing ahead of teams with many more competitors.
"I am extremely proud of Dan, Elias and Coach Martin," praised TSJC Athletic Director Mike Salbato. "Coach Martin put together a perfect training plan for both of these young men. They both peaked at just the right time. It is amazing that two runners could put us into 12th place in the nation. I am looking forward to what the team can do now in the outdoor season."
Gedyon and Haymes will now take a short break before taking their running shoes back outside for the Outdoor Track and Field season starting in late March.