The Adams State women’s distance medley relay team knew heading into Friday that defending their top seed in the event would require every runner doing her part.
What the women didn’t know was that it would also take running 11 seconds faster than their previous best and shattering the Division II record in the process. The race goes down as one of the best DMR races in Division II history, with four teams running faster than the old record of 11:23.35, set by Grand Valley State in 2012.
The women’s event – along with an equally thrilling and record-setting run on the men’s side just minutes later – served as the grand finale on the second day of the Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Birmingham CrossPlex. Championship competition will wrap up on Saturday.
The team of Roisin Flanagan, Jessica Scherrer, Leanne Allen and Jenna Thurman notched a time of 11:15.28, just over a second faster than Minnesota-Duluth. Cedarville was next with 11:19.55, followed by Walsh in 11:20.61. Proving the depth of talent in Friday’s race, Grand Valley State’s fifth-place time of 11:24.55 marks the seventh fastest ever run in Division II history.
Adams State took the lead in the second leg of the relay, with a strong 400-meter run by senior Jessica Scherrer. Allen continued the momentum, holding a two-second lead when she handed off to Thurman for the final 1,600-meter leg. But Minnesota-Duluth’s standout miler Emilee Trost closed the gap, forcing a sprint finish that Thurman ultimately won. “I could kind of see people in the camera gaining on me, and I just picked it up a little more,” the Adams State junior said. “I was like, there’s no way I’m losing this for my team.”
The performance pushed the Grizzlies into a three-way tie for first in the team standings after six events. They carry 16 points heading into the final day of competition, along with Chadron State and Grand Valley State.
The relay wasn’t the only record-breaking performance among the women on Friday. Courtney Crandall, a senior from Sioux Falls, broke the championship record in the pole vault with a jump of 4.32 meters. The mark, which she had also jumped at the NSIC conference meet, is the fourth best all-time in Division II.
Crandall easily cleared 4.12 meters to secure the title, then continued on in an attempt to set a Division II record. All eyes were on the pole vault lane as she attempted 4.41 meters but fell just short.
In the women’s pentathlon, Pittsburg State’s Emilyn Dearman took first, gaining her top-seeded team 10 points. Dearman, last year’s fourth-place finisher, led Angelo State’s Kami Norton, last year’s third-place finisher, by just under 100 points going into the final event of the pentathlon, the 800-meter run. Her time of 2:20.91 was enough to secure the win, with a total of 4,146 points.
“It feels amazing,” Dearman said. “Outdoor I was ranked first last year and I ended up getting fourth. I was really disappointed. I have a great coach and a great support system, and I’m just glad it finally came together.”
Top Five Teams:
- 1. Grand Valley State, 16
- 1. Adams State, 16
- 1. Chadron State, 16
- 2.F indlay, 12
- 3. Walsh, 11
Women’s Pentathlon: Emilyn Dearman, Pittsburg State, 4,146
Women’s Pole Vault: Courtney Crandall, Sioux Falls, 4.32
Women’s Distance Medley Relay: Adams State, 11:15.28