New Mexico Highlands' Slack nearly sweeps heptathlon
ALLENDALE, Mich. -- Salcia Slack is a perfectionist.
The senior from New Mexico Highlands is one of the best female athletes in Division II, but she’s rarely happy with her performance.
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“It’s nothing extra for me,” Slack said of winning back-to-back titles. “It’s not because I know I can do something [better], but I trained for it. I’m a little bit excited, but nothing major.”
Slack, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, won five of the seven events to finish with 5,691 points. Megan Winkle of Azusa Pacific was a distant second with 5,475. She was followed by Central Missouri’s Madison Smith (5,290), Emilyn Dearman of Pittsburg State (5,240) and Jordan Gray of Angelo State (5,231).
What was her toughest event this week?
“The javelin,” she said. “I have my elbow … I got hurt like three weeks ago and it’s been bugging a lot.”
Yet, Slack won the javelin with a throw of 125-5 feet (38.22 meters).
She also won the 100-meter hurdles (13.70 seconds), the shot put (12.61 meters/41-4 1/2 feet), the 200 meters (24.14 seconds) and the long jump (5.93 meters/19-5 1/2 feet). Slack finished third in the 800-meters (2:17.20) and 14th in the high jump (1.58 meters/5-1 feet).
“That’s not my best,” she said of the shot put. “I normally throw like 42, 43, 44. So to throw 38, I’m very, very disappointed. I’m injured.”
She may be injured, but she’s still the best in the country. In fact, her 6,141 points during a meet earlier this year is the 11th best total in college history over all divisions.
Slack stepped up to the podium to accept her first-place trophy wearing knee-high purple socks. She’s become known for her bold fashion choices.
“If I see some socks that I really like [at the store], I buy them,” Slack said with a big smile. “I always like those bright colors."
What color socks will she wear if she makes the Jamaican national team?
“It’s not going to be something green and yellow to match my [Jamaican] uniform. It’s going to be something off [color],” said Slack, who says she has more than 50 pairs.
Slack, 25, who has a 6-year-old son named Vendrey, plans to return to Jamaica in June to try out for the national team in preparation for the World Championships.
What does she have to do to make the Jamaican team?
“‘Nothing. I’m No. 1 in the country now for heptathlon,” she said. “So I just have to go prove my fitness.”
Slack said her dream is to compete in the Olympics in 2016.
“One thing that I’ve wanted to do since high school is to represent my country in World Championships and Olympics,” she said. “This is one of my dreams. So I’m very happy. My goal is to finish in the to eight.”
Slack said health isn’t an issue. Well, kind of.
“I’m fine. I’m 100 percent fine,” she said. “Other than my regular injuries like my knee and elbow … that’s it. My knee is 60 percent. I’m fine. Nothing is wrong with me.”
But less than 100 percent is usually good enough for her to dominate.
Slack also competed in the open high jump, an event she won in the championship last year. She finished sixth this week with a leap of 20-5 feet (6.22 meters). She also is scheduled to compete in the open shot put, triple jump, 100 hurdles and the 4x400 relay.