May 24, 2009
St. Louis, Mo. – The Shorter College men’s and women’s track and field squads have officially put the nation on notice.
The Hawks and Lady Hawks made big charges on the third and final day of the 2009 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships to place fifth and seventh, respectively, in the season’s final meet held at Ralph Korte Stadium in Edwardsville, Ill.
The Hawks gathered 46 points, just 5.5 tallies behind third place finishers Concordia (Ore.) and Oklahoma Baptist.
The Lady Hawks earned 44 points, a mere 0.5 points out of fifth and four shy of fourth-place occupant Azusa Pacific.
The Azusa Pacific men and Wayland Baptist women each repeated as national champions and held wire-to-wire leads throughout the weekend.
Shorter, which improved tremendously upon its tenth-place men’s finish and 15th-place women’s finish in 2008, placed 17 athletes – nine men and eight women – on the NAIA All-America squad.
Only three of those All-Americans were seniors, a statistic that bodes well for the future of head coach Scott Byrd’s program.
The list of young All-Americans included freshman Justyna Mudy, who captured the 3,000-meter steeplechase national championship with an NAIA record time of 10:12.31.
Mudy smashed the previous mark of 10:18.96, set in last year’s national meet by the 2009 runner-up, senior Dallon Williams of Cal State San Marcos.
Mudy was the only athlete, male or female, to set a new NAIA record over the three-day competition and was named the 2009 Women's Outstanding Performer.
The youth movement was certainly on display for Shorter in St. Louis.
On the men’s side, sophomore Montagious Brown nearly added an outdoor national title to go along with his indoor crown in the high jump, posting a second-place finish after leaping 7 feet, 1 inch.
Sophomore Nick Dodson nearly captured a 400-meter hurdle championship, finishing second in the final with a time of 51.97.
In the final competition of their careers, seniors Jared Carson and Martin Hernandez scored valuable points for the Hawks. Carson placed sixth in the 10,000-meter run while Hernandez finished fourth in the men’s marathon with a time of 2:34:02.
The Lady Hawks' 4x100 and 4x400 teams, both of which consisted of three freshmen and senior anchor K’Ianca Dupree, notched third-place finishes.
First-year athletes Charnita McIntosh, Ashlie Stewartson and Brittany Sewell joined Dupree to finish with a time of 46.58 in the 4x100. Mia Jones and Tia Moreland teamed up with Stewartson and Dupree in the 4x400 to post a time of 3:45.90.
Stewartson enjoyed a successful overall campaign in St. Louis.
Despite entering the weekend ranked tenth in the 400, she finished second in the event with a time of 54.48.
Stewartson, also a standout on the Lady Hawks’ volleyball team, placed fourth in the long jump at 19 feet, 5.5 inches.
Shorter’s All-America selections are listed below:
Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athletes