The Carroll College women's 1,600-meter relay team ran the first sub-3:50 time in the NAIA this season with a 3:49.11 to highlight the final day of the Mountain States Games at Holt Arena on the campus of Idaho State University.
"What they have done this season with just three practices on a track and only four meets blows my mind, " coach Harry Clark said. "These girls are so driven. They put in the time in the weight room, in drills, and they take advantage of every opportunity they get to improve. I can't wait to see what they can do if the weather stays warm and we can get some track time over the next few weeks."
Carroll finished second in the race behind Montana State, but ahead of D-I and D-II schools from the Big Sky, WAC, GNAC and RMAC.
The race was the last of a productive day for the Saints.
Annika Moore hit 37-feet, 3 inches in the triple jump to earn an NAIA-A qualifying mark. She finished third at the meet, and her mark places her 11th in the country.
Several other Saints placed in the top three in their events.
Hannah Porch took second in the 60, Kara Barth and Keely Ehmann took second and third in the 400, and Samantha Mundel took third in the 3,000. Earlier in the meet, Porch earned an NAIA-A qualification in the long jump with a career-best 18-8, good enough for fourth in the NAIA.
Jack Dunley took third in the 800 in 1:56.37. His raw time is below the NAIA-B qualifying time of 1:56.85.
On Friday, the Saints got off to a great start when Crystal Schmidt broke her school record for the pentathlon and became the first NAIA Athlete to break the 3,400 mark this season when she took second in the event.
Schmidt made a 147-point jump with the improvement coming from the shot put, long jump and high jump. Her 60-meter hurdles and 800-meter run times dipped leaving points on the table that head coach Harry Clark hopes she will pick up at nationals.
"I am glad to see her make a big jump and move into that top spot in the country but I am more excited that she still has room to improve," Clark said. "She has a chance to get into the 3,700-3,800 range which is what it will take to win a national title."
The men's distance medley relay also hit a qualifying time on Friday. The Saints took second place with a time of 10:28.06 but it with altitude adjustment, will qualify for a nationals spot.
Terah Cundith tied her PR in the pole vault with a clearance of 12 feet. She took sixth because of missed attempts but cleared the second-highest height of the meet.
The meet was the last of the season for the full team, but Leah Esposito and Macala Fifield will run the 1,000 at the UW Open on Sunday in Seattle. The pair will likely qualify for nationals in the event, which would bring the total number of qualifiers to 22 individuals and two relay teams.
"I am so proud of this team," Clark said. "With the weather that we have had and the fact that we were only able to compete in four meets, it is impressive what they have done. They never made excuses, they just went to work and got it done, and I couldn't be more excited for what they can accomplish."
The Saints are now off until competing at NAIA Nationals in Jackson, Tennessee, on March 2-4.