Wartburg women repeat as indoor track national champs - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Wartburg women repeat as indoor track national champs


GREENCASTLE, INDIANA -- In the end, Wartburg College head track and field coach Marcus Newsom figured it might come down to character.

"I had a choice to make before we ran the 4x400… either tell the group where we were at in the team points race or trust their ability and let them go out and perform," he said. "I knew they were capable of what they did."

The quintet of seniors Jenny Kordick of Truro and Chelsey Jacobs of Allison and sophomores Nevada Morrison of Chicago, Ill., and Faith Burt of Cedar Falls helped hand the program its combined fifth indoor and outdoor women's team national title since 2005 and the second consecutive indoor team title with an NCAA Division III season's best time of 3:48.73.

The individual event title was one of two for the Orange and Black. Sophomore Skye Morrison of Chicago, Ill., opened the two-day meet with a title in the long jump.

Wartburg's four-point margin of victory over UW-Oshkosh (33-29) was hard fought to the end. The Knights did pick up 12 All-American awards between the 55 meter dash (Burt – third place finish), 55 meter hurdles (junior Brittany Thomas of Kansas City, Kansas – sixth place finish), Skye Morrison (long jump title and eighth in triple jump), the 4x400 and the distance medley relay team of seniors Jennifer and Amanda Kuiken of Fairfield, Nicole Calabrese of Spring Valley, Minn., and Jacobs with a sixth-place finish. However, the Knights were kept out of possible honors in the 400 and 5000, while the Titans pieced together another strong run in the field events.

"National championships are never easy," Newsom said. "We fought through some adversity, but as I have been saying all season ‘Next woman up', and the kids stepped up did that."

Senior men's hurdler Russell Harris of LaGrange, Ill., added highlights for Wartburg as well. In his first indoor national berth, Harris placed sixth to gain All-American honors in the 55 meter hurdles.

"I am so proud of him," Newsom said. "He hasn't been here before, and he gets an All-American award. That is great to see him do that."

Online reporter Mark Woodley

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