Biola junior Natasha Miller defended her title in the high jump to earn her second individual crown and repeated as the outdoor women's Most Valuable Performer in the final day of action at the 2010 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Indiana Wesleyan University on Saturday.
Miller wrapped up a busy championship by successfully defending her title in the high jump, clearing 5-10¾ (1.80m). It was the same height she cleared to win the indoor title earlier this season. She has now won the last four NAIA national high jump competitions including the last two indoor titles.
Miller closed out the meet with a total of 22 points, winning the high jump and heptathlon titles and adding a seventh-place finish in the 100m hurdles. As the high-point earner, she also repeated as the meet's Most Valuable Performer, a title she has won at the last two outdoor and last two indoor meets.
Overall, the Biola women finished tied for 12th overall with 27 points, matching the team's finish at the 2009 championships.
The other five points for the Eagle women's team came from junior Kelsey Gasner, who placed fourth in the 3,000m steeplechase on Saturday afternoon. Gasner just missed her personal-best time in the event, crossing in 11:05.53.
Rounding out the women's competitors on the day was junior Katie Thede, who placed 13th in the 5,000m final, running a time of 18:37.70.
Saturday started early for the Eagles with a pair of men's entrants in the marathon. Despite the hot, muggy weather, senior Mike Morin and junior Carter Williams finished the race in strong fashion. Williams placed 35th overall in the event with a time of 2:57:37.60. Morin, who was competing in the race while his fellow classmates at Biola were participating in graduation ceremonies, crossed the line in 3:00.39.70, good for 39th place.
In addition to the regularly-scheduled competition, the NAIA recognized the scholar-athletes in track and field earlier in the day. Biola had 10 members of its team honored: Sarah Brooks, Kirk Carlson, Eva Dunbar, Kelsey Gasner, Jameson Henry, Natasha Miller, Michael Morin, Erika Perez, Ryan Richert and Evan Thibodeau.
A total of 548 student-athletes were recognized by the NAIA for their work in the classroom. Student-athletes are nominated by their head coach and must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and have achieved junior academic status to qualify.
Written by Jeff Hoffman, Sports Information Director. Jenna Bartlo, Media Relations Coordinator, can be reached at (562) 777-4061 or through email at jenna dot l dot bartlo at biola dot edu.