Warrior Women’s Track and Field Opens Nationals in Style
YANKTON, S.D. – It was a successful first day of competition for the LC State Track and Field team at the 2021 NAIA Indoor National Championships. Every LC competitor scheduled for the first day was seeded 10th or lower, yet the Warriors earned spots in three finals and clinched an individual All-American honor.
The 4x800m and 4x400m relays put together outstanding performances in the morning to earn their spots in the next races. Ashley Britt, after anchoring the 4x400m relay, excelled in the 600m relay to earn her spot in the final. The top eight from each event moved on to Friday’s finals. Madi Carson capped the day with her third All-American mark in the pole vault.
“It was, quite honestly, an amazing day,” Head Coach Mike Collins said. “I don’t think I could over-say that. The girls are excited, and, to use one of Cyrus (Hall’s) terms, we outkicked out coverage. Everybody performed better than what they were predicted to perform, and we are excited. We’ve got nothing to lose on Friday so we will see what happens.”
Carson earned her third All-American finish with her performance in the pole vault. She cleared a mark of 3.68m (12’0.75”) to clinch the seventh-place spot after entering the event as the 11th seed. Carson broke the tie for seventh with two other competitors by clearing her heights in less attempts.
The 4x800m relay team of Emily Adams, Rylee Brown, Geraldin Correa and Maja Plaznik got the Warriors off to a very strong start. The quartet entered the meet seeded 10th with just the top eight advancing to the final. The Warrior women put together the fourth-fastest (9:31.49) performance in the event to move on to Friday.
Seeded 14th heading into the 4x400m relay, Britt, Anika Grogan, Rebekka Kalmbach and Karlie Smith became the first LC State women’s indoor 4x400m relay team to advance to the national final. They are also the first group to clock a sub-4:00 time on a 200m flat track with a time of 3:58.01 to finish seventh in the prelims.
After anchoring the 4x400m relay team, Britt advanced to the final of the 600m dash. She was seeded 13th heading into the event and finished seventh overall (1:37.87), the second-fastest time in LC history, to earn her spot in the final on Friday.
Clayton VanDyke starts the men’s portion of the competition on Thursday with the 1,000m prelims. He races for his place in the finals at 1:30 p.m. PT.
The women’s finals will take place on Friday, starting with the 4x800m relay at 7:30 a.m. PT. Britt will run in the 600m finals at 10:15 a.m. PT, and then join the 4x400m relay at 1:45 p.m. PT.