Written and Media by Dylon Niswonger
Great competition provokes great performance. The Greenville University women’s track and field team brought both recently on January 26 and 27 at the Principia Relays indoor track meet. It’s midseason and the stress is heavy as our Panthers try to qualify for the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Indoor Track and Field Championship in Cedarville, Ohio. The indoor season is ticking away with only two more opportunities to qualify following this track meet at the Jim Green Invitational at Illinois College and the Fighting Scot Invitational at Monmouth, Illinois.
There were many great performances as well as personal bests displayed on the track and the field. Some outstanding competitors can now relax because they have run, jumped, and thrown well enough to reserve spots at indoor Christian Nationals. Now, rather than focusing on qualifying, they can focus on refining their talents. Four ladies qualified this past weekend. They include freshman, Jessica Staley; juniors, Rachel Hanna and Sydney Porter; and senior, Marideth Tate.
Staley has had an exceptional season already as a freshman with only three indoor meets under her belt. She snatched 5th place in the 60-meter dash with a time of 8.21 seconds, earning her spot at Christian Nationals.
Hanna put up a pole vault height of 9’6.25”, awarding her 3rd place. She claimed that she was happy with her success, considering the length of the season, but that it was not her best work. Regardless, she felt blessed she has already qualified.
Tate, a leading senior on the team, received 5th in the weight throw, covering a distance of 12.81 meters, 42’05”, qualifying her as well.
In the Pentathlon finals, Porter put together a combined score of 2,076 points, placing her 3rd at the meet, and additionally granting her the trip to Christian Nationals. In the Pentathlon, also known as the “pent”, there are five events. It kicked off with the 60-meter hurdles, in which she raced a time of 11:68 seconds. This was followed by the high jump, in which she cleared a height of 4’4.75”. She then threw the shot put a distance of 24’3.5”. Next, she jumped a 14’7” in the long jump and concluded the 800-meter race with a time of 2:54. Ultimately, the faster she runs, the farther she throws, and the higher she jumps in each event produce the combined score she received.
Porter, recovering from an injury from last season, was not as happy with her performance as she would have liked, but was still excited for the opportunity to attend Christian Nationals and the chance to push herself at the national meet. She will be taking advantage of the next two weeks prior to nationals, stating, “I’m happy to qualify for Christian Nationals, but I know there is a lot of improvement to be done.”
An additional great performance was made by the women’s Distance Medley Relay team (DMR), with Lia Kruise taking off with an impressive 1200, followed by a 400-meter dash by Jayda Fowler and 800-meter run by Kori Nesbit, and finished by a strong mile by Megan McKee with a concluding time of 13:53. It was a compelling race to watch. The comradery within the relay team adds to the fun.
These athletes all share a passion to be phenomenal and are well on their way to an outstanding season. These ladies will continue to compete in events at Christian Nationals within the next two weeks and show us they are a part of the elite. As stated before, great competition provokes great performance, and these ladies have displayed both this season.