Lincoln Women Defend League Title at Outdoor Championships
EMPORIA, KS -- The Lincoln women's outdoor track & field team won 10 races, set two meet records and posted eight automatic qualifying times for the NCAA Championships on the final day of the MIAA Outdoor Championships as the Blue Tigers won their second straight league title. The Blue Tigers posted 21 total top-five finishes on Sunday to defend their league crown.
Twishana Williams tied with Central Missouri's Lindsay Lettow as the meet's top scorer, winning four races for a total of 40 points. In addition to her victory in the 10,000-meter run (37:24.58) on Saturday (May 5), Williams also took the 800-meter run (2:15.50), 1,500-meter run (4:34.54) and 5,000-meter run (17:46.95) on Sunday. Her time in the 800-meter is a provisional qualifier for the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Yanique Haye won three races on Sunday, with her top time coming in the 400-meter hurdles. Haye won that race in 57.70, setting a new MIAA Championships record by besting the time of 58.53, set by Lincoln's Keniesha Jones last season. Haye's time is also an automatic qualifier for the NCAA Championships. Finishing behind Haye in the 400-meter hurdles was Michelle Cumberbatch, who claimed second with a time of 58.83, also an automatic qualifying mark. Ladonna Richardson also had an automatic time in that event, taking fourth in 59.59, while Marcia Harrison finished eighth at 1:10.26.
Haye also set an automatic qualifying time in the 400-meter dash, becoming one of three Blue Tigers to accomplish that feat after winning the race in 53.58. Tamara Keane and Cumberbatch tied for second, finishing with automatic times of 54.04. Dereka Kelly took fifth in that race with a provisional time of 55.58. Haye, Cumberbatch and Kelly also helped lead Lincoln to victory in the 4x400-meter relay, taking first in 3:45.20.
The Blue Tigers' other meet record came in the 100-meter hurdles, where Richardson won with an automatic-qualifying time of 13.49. That mark beat the previous MIAA Championships-best time of 13.66, set last season by Lincoln's Judith Riley. Tying that meet record was Anna-Kay James, who finished second at 13.66.
Latoya King also picked up three wins at the MIAA Championships, including setting an automatic qualifying mark in the 100-meter dash (11.54). James took second in that event (11.97) while Nickeisha Beaumont finished sixth (12.03) and Toni-Ann Moore took eighth (12.32). King and Beaumont also combined with Richardson and Keane in the 4x100-meter relay, winning that race in 46.20.
King's other win on Sunday came in the 200-meter dash, which she took in 23.88. Keane was the runner-up in that race, clocking in at 24.01, while James placed fourth at 24.66.
Lincoln's final automatic qualifier during the MIAA Championships was Shakeisha Miller, who scored 5,118 points in the women's heptathalon en route to a third place finish. Sherikaye Campbell also earned team points for LU in that event, finishing seventh with 4,452 points, a provisional qualifying mark. Campbell also earned a pair of top-four finishes in field events during the championships, including taking third in the high jump (1.73m) and fourth in the triple jump (11.95m).
The Blue Tigers finished with 204 points to claim the league championship, beating out second-place Central Missouri, which finished with 172 points. Missouri Southern and Emporia State tied for third with 85 points each. The league title marks the fourth for Lincoln in the two seasons since LU rejoined the MIAA, as the Blue Tigers have now won the league's outdoor title twice to go with two indoor conference championships. Lincoln will have one final opportunity to add some hardware to its trophy case in three weeks, as the Blue Tigers will compete for a national title at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships, set to be held in Pueblo, Colorado at Colorado State-Pueblo from May 24-26.