Posted: May 24, 2014 10:24 PM
Updated: May 26, 2014 10:11 AM
ALLENDALE, Mich. - The Lincoln University Women's Outdoor Track & Field team is the NCAA Division II National Champion for the first time since 2009.
The Blue Tigers scored 64 team points on Saturday to win their seventh NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field National Championship. Ten Lincoln athletes combined to turn in 12 All-American performances, with both Blue Tiger relay teams winning national titles.
Lincoln, which has also won four indoor national championships since 2003, won their 11th overall championship on Saturday. The Blue Tigers had previously won the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field National Championship six times in seven years from 2003 to 2009.
The day began and ended on high notes for Lincoln, starting in the 4x100m relay, where the foursome of Judith Riley, Kimberly Bailey, Yanique Ellington and Janae Johnson won. Ellington and Johnson would go on to earn three total All-American honors, which are bestowed upon any athlete who finishes in the top-eight on an event at the national championships. Johnson was the runner-up in the 200m and took fifth in the 100m. Ellington, meanwhile, placed third in the 100m and fourth in the 200m.
The day ended with the 4x400m relay. Entering that event, Lincoln had 54 team points and was in first place by just one point. Johnson C. Smith was in second with 53 points, and the two teams were going head-to-head in the relay with everything on the line. The Lincoln foursome of Willomena Williams, Jhevere Hall, Donna-Lee Hylton and Tamara Keane stepped up, winning the race to guarantee the Blue Tigers the national championship.
Keane also earned All-American recognition in three events, including the 400m hurdles, in which she placed fourth. Keane finished seventh in the 400m dash, while Hylton placed eighth in the latter event.
Hall was also a multiple All-American honoree, as she placed sixth in the 800m in 2:09.35. Monique Thompson had the best performance by a Blue Tiger in that event, claiming fourth. Lincoln's final All-American award winner was Ladonna Richards, who took fourth in the 100m hurdles.
The Blue Tigers scored 64 points, beating second-place Johnson C. Smith by five points. Grand Valley State, which hosted the national championship meet, came in third. Adams State took fourth, edging fifth-place Ashland by one point. Central Missouri, meanwhile, had the second-best finish of any MIAA program behind Lincoln, taking sixth with 34 points.