John Harris holds the lead in this recnt photo. Photo contributed.
GENEVA, Ohio (AP) - A group of Morningside College athletes earned NAIA All-America honors with a second place finish in the men's 3200 meter Relay at last weekend's NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships here.
The Mustangs' quartet of Brian Gesink, Garret Ehlers, John Harris and Monte Larsen combined for a school-record time of 7:40.05 to finish second behind defending National Champion Oklahoma Baptist University. The Mustang runners broke their former school record time of 7:40.95, which they had set the day before in preliminaries.
Harris, a sophomore, is a former Galva-Holstein prep, and his three teammates are also from western Iowa. Gesink, a senior, hails from Sioux Center, the freshman Ehlers is from Ida Grove, and the junior Larsen is from Neola, which is in southwest Iowa.
Breeana Mathes has shone all season for Morningside College.
The Mustang women also competed in the women's 3200 meter Relay, and they finished eighth, with a time of 9:32.34. Two area athletes, senior Kara Nelson, former Cherokee Washington standout, and sophomore Breanna Mathes, who prepped at Galva-Holstein, were members of that team. Mathes also qualified for Saturday's finals in the women's 1000 meters after she recorded the seventh best time (2:58.31) in the preliminaries. She also placed seventh in the finals, running the event in 2:58.40. Mathes just missed earning All-America honors, which are awarded to the top six finishers in each event.
Cherokee's own Kara Nelson is the final indoor track season of her illustrious college career.