Wartburg Women Claim D3 National Title in Thrilling Fashion
MARIETTA, OHIO – Wartburg College notched its combined third indoor and outdoor women’s track and field Division III team title Saturday, May 23, edging UW-Oshkosh by two points for the top spot at Don Drumm Memorial Stadium. The championship helped the Knights bookend their 2009 indoor national crown.
Wartburg made its way to the top spot on the team awards stand behind three individual event championships and scoring all 52 of its points on the final day of competition. The women’x 4×100 meter relay squad of freshmen Faith Burt of Cedar Falls and Nevada Morrison of Chicago, Ill., junior Jenny Kordick of Truro and senior Kelsey Steffens of DeWitt reset the school record, just two days after breaking the former record, with a 46.21-second clocking. Senior Akeya Aimable of Waterloo made it a double of the indoor and outdoor triple jump titles by capturing the event with a best effort of 39 feet, 10 and three quarters inches, also bettering her previous school record. The women’s 4×400 meter relay team of Nevada Morrison, junior Chelsey Jacobs of Allison, Kordick and junior Hannah Baker of Keota finally got head coach Marcus Newsom’s squad past the Titans with a time of 3:43.48, a school record, to mark the program’s third consecutive outdoor national title in the race.
Other top efforts for the women’s squad came from Burt with a third-place finish in the 100 (12.22 seconds) and a fourth-place outing in the 200 (school record time of 24.8 seconds), Nevada Morrison (55.05) and Baker (55.17) going four-five in the open 400, and junior Anna Kraayenbrink of Sioux Center (17:27.85) taking seventh place in the 5000.
“This was a total team effort,” Newsom said. “There were some peaks and valleys, at times, this year, but, in the end, the team just believed they could reach this goal. It’s something really special to see a group of individuals do what they did in four and a half hours.”
Newsom’s men’s team, with just three competitors, ended with 18 points and three All-American awards. Senior distance runner Brian Chenoweth of Geneseo, Ill., took a pair of thirds in the 5000 and 10,000 meter races, while junior Russell Harris of LaGrange, Ill., ended eighth in the 110 meter high hurdles.
Wartburg’s streak of successive campaigns of 10-or-more All-Americans continued over the weekend with a combined total of 17 between the men and women. It’s the ninth straight outdoor championship that the Orange and Black have met the criteria.