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Johnson earns All-American honors with Bethel 4x400 team

Hannah Sankey, Delia Labatt, AddieKay Johnson and Erin Alpers placed fourth in a school record time of 3:51.06 for Bethel at the NCAA Division III Indoor National Championships. David Huffman / Bethel Sports Information

The Bethel Royals are bringing home ten All-American honors from the NCAA Division III Indoor National Championships. "I'm so unbelievably proud of our team, they gave everything they had." says Head Coach Andrew Rock.

Karl Olsen led the way for the Royals by earning second place in the men's 400m by running 47.88, which is a school record. Olsen got out strong and sat on eventual winner Patrick Mikel's shoulder through the first 350m, and made a final push to come within .14 second of the title. Delia Labatt ran just minutes later in the women's 400m. Labatt also earned All-American status by running 56.10 seconds for seventh place. Annika Halverson ran in a tight pack in the women's mile, and came away with a ninth place finish by running 4:59.57. Halverson was just .14 second shy of earning All-American status.

The women's 4x400m relay ran the best time in school history - indoors or outdoors - by racing to a 3:51.06. The team of Hannah Sankey, Labatt, Erin Alpers, and AddieKay Johnson (Detroit Lakes, Minn.) earned fourth place, and the title of All-Americans. Each individual had the best split of their indoor careers.

The highly anticipated men's 4x400m relay did not go as planned, but nevertheless, led to an unforgettable moment. Olsen gave Bethel a lead after the first leg, and Shawn Monroe extended that lead through the first turn. However, Monroe suddenly went down to the track with a hamstring injury. "Shawn showed amazing character to get up after that," said Rock. "Most people would have walked off, but Shawn knew that he could get his teammates onto the podium if he finished. It was one of the most inspirational things I've seen on the track." The entire Crossplex facility was on their feet. Olsen, Monroe, Isaac Erickson, and Carl Klamm received a well-deserved All-American award.

The Royals will resume competition during their outdoor track and field season. The first meet will be at Hamline University on Saturday, April 7.

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