GULF SHORES, Ala. — A Hartington native just helped another athlete earn American status.
Jonathon Becker is an Associate Head Coach at Mid America Nazarene University in Gulf Shores, Ala.
The former Cedar Catholic track stand-out recently coached a MNU hurdler to a national title.
Several other of his athletes fared well at the national event, as well.
This is the third All American Becker has coached in his brief coaching career.
In 2017, he coached two men in the NAIA Track & Field Championships in the 110m Hurdle Finals for Mid America Nazarene and they came in first and second to claim the National Championship and National Runner-up spots.
This year Joshua Haskin went into the event Saturday knowing he had something to prove.
The junior from Flourissant, Mo. had been sitting in the top 5 rankings for the event all year but never above top 3. Those spots were claimed by an athlete who had been a multi-time National champion in the long sprints and another individual who competed for team Jamacia at the World Championships last year.
Haskin knew he would have to bring something special to the table in order to crack the top two. “Going into the meet I was confident,” said Haskin. “You have to believe and have faith in the training you’ve done, and the support of those around you.”
Competing in Gulf Shores can be a challenge when spring was cooler and wetter than normal.
“There are so many factors that need to be prepared for while at the National Championships,” said Coach Becker. “Managing the heat is a big part of keeping our athletes prepared. We were the only team to set up a tent for shade in the warm up area, we prepared ice bags for athletes to use to keep cool during the warm up, we brought our own hurdles for our athletes to use instead of them trying to share with 20 other athletes, and the reason we do this is to give our athletes confidence to know they are 100% prepared to attack their race.”
Becker continued, “Josh is one of our athletes who is really on top of his game and taking care of himself. In an attempt to stay hydrated we were concerned that he consumed too much water and was having some cramping issues in the prelims.” Luckily his prelim race was run without incident and he finished smoothly qualifying for the final. “