Rocky Mountain College will have eight athletes competing at the NAIA indoor track and field national championships, which are set for March 6-8 in Geneva, Ohio.
The Battlin' Bears will be sending four men and four women. It is the largest contingent in the four-year history of the indoor program at Rocky, coach Alan King said.
For the men, sophomore Shawn Peden of Billings, freshman Fred Petsch of Billings and Colton Wood of Cody, Wyo., will all be competing in the 800 meters.
Those three, along with senior Johnny Barnes of Zillah, Wash., will also be competing in the 4,000-meter distance medley relay.
On the women's side, senior Ana Richter of Billings and junior Rachael Hart of Kalispell have qualified for the mile. They will also race on the 4,000-meter distance medley relay, along with junior Bailey Eich of Rapid City, S.D., and freshman Jessica Raymond of Henderson, Nev.
Peden has run a school-record time of 1:54.35 this season, which ranks him 11th in the NAIA. The men's DMR, which has posted a school record time of 10:23.73, is ranked 18th nationally.
Richter earned All-America status in the mile at last year's national championships. She has run a 5:07.65 this season, while Hart has a 5:07.40 to her credit.
King said all of his runners should benefit from the bigger (300-meter)track at nationals and more gradual corners.
"Both of our relays, along with Shawn and both (Richter and Hart) could all be in the All-America hunt," King said. "It's possible for all of them."