Written and Media by Dylon Niswonger.
As we enter the heart of the indoor track season, the Greenville University Women’s Track team continues to pick up momentum and excitement as they deliver another weekend of top-notch performances at the Jim Green Invitational Meet hosted by Illinois College on February 3. These ladies look to sharpen their A-game so they can deliver their best performances at the indoor Christian College National meet. With two weeks left before Christian Nationals, the pressure has manifested, and these ladies have had the opportunity to strive under the uneasy tension.
Jessica Staley, a junior, only a couple weeks into her first collegiate track season, placed 8th in the 60-meter dash and then 5th in the 400-meter race with a time of 1:02.26, which also qualifies her for Christian Nationals. Staley is currently eligible to compete in both the 60-meter and the 400-meter races at nationals.
Kori Nesbit, a sophomore, and Lia Kruse, a senior, competed in the mile race. Both had strong performances, Nesbit with a season’s best and Kruse a lifetime best in the mile with a time of 5:24, earning 2nd place and additionally qualifying her for Christian Nationals.
It was especially exciting for Kruse. She described the results as a “pleasant surprise because I had never thought I could run the mile that fast.” Kruse also plans to qualify for the 3,000-meter race this coming weekend at Monmouth on February 10 and potentially compete in both events at Christian Nationals. Kruse is having a phenomenal senior year and continues to roll through the meets and races with impressive energy.
Rachel Hanna, a junior, also had a notable day of events with a 7th place finish in the 60-meter hurdles and clearing 9′ 11.75″ in the pole vault, taking 2nd and reinforcing her trip to nationals in that event. Hanna was just a hair short of qualifying in the hurdles and can hopefully snatch the qualifying time needed for nationals next weekend at Monmouth.
Marideth Tate, a senior, threw a 46′ 6.25″, earning her 2nd in the weight throw. Victoria Papez and Deb Cunningham, juniors, also performed well in the weight throw, picking up a trip to Christian Nationals. This was an impressive event for the lady’s field team this weekend. The throwing sector of the team has progressively delivered qualifying throws each week this indoor season and look to build on that energy moving forward.
The final event for the weekend brought a 5th place finish with the 4×400 meter relay executed by Sydney Porter, Jayda Fowler, Rachel Hanna, and Taylor Tucker’s combined efforts to produce a 4:18 finish time.
These competitors’ results came together to finish with a 5th place as a team at the Jim Green Invitational. Momentum is building as more ladies continue to have season bests, personal records, and opportunities to compete at Christian Nationals. Excitement, as well as pressure build as the ladies, enter the next half of the indoor season. It’s turning out to be a thrilling season, and I challenge fans to keep an eye on these talented ladies.