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Challengers looking to dethrone South Plains women heading to finals
 May 17, 2013

STEVE CARPENTER, HUTCHINSON COMMUNITY COLLEGE

HUTCHINSON, Kan. – Much like the last time that Gowans Stadium played host to the NJCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships, the chief competitors to unseat the South Plains College women from their streak of national championships was Iowa Central and Central Arizona.

Unable to do so in 2011, ICCC and CAC are back in the mix to stop the Texans’ run of national championship at four when the 2013 finals convene on Saturday.

The battle for the 2013 team championship should be memorable as Iowa Central leads after Friday’s competition (8 of 22 events) with 37 points. The Tritons have 10 athletes in Saturday’s finals. South Plains is second with 38 points and 10 finalists. Central Arizona is third with 27 points and a woman’s high 13 in Saturday’s finals. Johnson County is fourth with 27 points and Mesa is fifth with 22 points.

If the Texans win the national championship by a scant few points on Saturday, they might have to look at what happened in the final event of the Heptathlon on Friday.

Entering the Heptathlon 800 on Friday, Ashley Johnson trailed Iowa Western’s Tatianna Silva by 42 points. That meant in order for Johnson to overtake Silva for the national title, she would have to beat Silva by 3.61 seconds.  Johnson wound up beating Silva by 6.07 seconds to capture the Heptathlon national crown and pick up what might be two critical extra points on Saturday.

Johnson won the Heptathlon national title with 4,817 points. Silva scored 4,686. The Texans picked up 19 points in the Heptathlon as Jasmine King finished fourth (4,349 points) and  Angelica Taylor was fifth (4,147 points.)

Iowa Central made its charge to the top of the standings with a 1-2-3 finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Fiona McKenna won the event with a time of 11 minutes, 11.99 seconds. Jodi Miller was second (11:32.24) and Laura Condron was third (11:34.44). The Tritons were also second in the 4x800-meter relay.

That relay was won by Central Arizona in a time of 9:10.97. The Vaquaras also picked up an individual national championship when Micah Dennis won the shot put with a distance of 46 feet, 10 ¾ inches.

Cloud County’s Tameca Wallace edged South Plains’ Kierra White for the triple jump national title. Wallace won with a leap of 40-3 ½, while White went 40-0 ¾.

Mesa’s Susan Pew became the second pole vaulter to clear 13 feet at Gowans Stadium, winning the 2013 national title clearing 13 feet, ¼ inch.

Field events on Saturday begin at 9 a.m. and the championship finals on the track begin at 1 p.m. Live video will begin at 12:50 p.m. on NJCAATV.





























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