May 29, 2010
Marion, Ind. - Just when you think you have seen it all from Shorter College's Justyna Mudy, the Lady Hawks' long distance sensation finds yet another way to pull off the improbable.
Mudy added two more national championships to her rapidly growing collection, capturing the 3,000 meter steeplechase national championship and the 5,000 meter run national crown at the 2010 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships in Marion, Ind.
Her record performances helped lead the Lady Hawks' track and field team to a fourth place finish at the national meet, the best finish in the program's history. Shorter's women placed seventh in last year's national championships in St. Louis, Mo.
It was the second straight steeplechase title for Mudy, who won last year's event in an NAIA record time of 10:12.31.
This time around, Mudy torched the field by almost seven seconds, crossing the line in a time of 10:23.75 to beat runner-up Katie Conlon of Jamestown, who completed her race in 10:30.87.
Earlier in the day, Mudy won the 5,000-meter run national championship by that same seven-second margin (17:19.81).
Although she missed out on setting new NAIA record, Mudy defeated the current NAIA record holder in the 5,000, Azusa Pacific University senior Jacky Kipwambok, by just under 17 seconds. Mudy had previously beaten Kipwambok for the NAIA Cross Country national championship back in November.
Mudy's 20 individual points scored for her two event victories were more than over 40 teams were able to muster throughout the entire meet.
Her incredible individual effort earned her the 2010 Most Outstanding Female Performer award for the second year in a row.
Mudy, a redshirt sophomore who came to Shorter after one year at Kennesaw State University, has already established herself as the most decorated athlete in Shorter history.
The native of Poland now has four individual national championships - her other individual title came earlier this academic year at the 2009 NAIA Cross Country National Championship in Vancouver, Wash. Including that performance, Mudy won three individual national championships in 2009-10 alone.
Mudy has four of Shorter's seven total national championships. Junior Montagious Brown won the school's only other individual national crown when he won the high jump at the 2008 NAIA Indoor Track National Championship.
Shorter's All-Girl competitive cheerleading squad won back-to-back Intermediate II national titles at the NCA Cheerleading National Championships in Daytona Beach, Fla., in 2009 and 2010.
Mudy's outstanding 2010 meet contributed heartily to Shorter's strong, team-first concept - a philosophy that has catapulted the Lady Hawks' program into the national spotlight to stay.
The fourth place finish came just one year after the Lady Hawks placed in the national top 10 for the first time ever.
With 51 points, the two-time defending Mid-South Conference champions ended the three-day national meet just 10 points behind national champion Azusa Pacific (61 points) and five tallies out of a third place showing behind Simon Fraser University (56).
On Saturday, Shorter's women's athletes broke a pair of school records to help bolster the record effort.
Kennisha Holden placed third in the 400-meter hurdles in a school record time of 1:00.35, almost an entire second faster than she ran in her semifinal heat.
Individually, Stewartson placed eighth in the 400 meters and then watched the Lady Hawks' 4x400 meter relay squad of Mia Jones, Holden, Tia Moreland and Francis score with an eighth place finish in its event.
Oklahoma Baptist (60) finished second by one point while Florida Memorial rounded out the top five with 41 tallies.