April 29th, 2012
AZUSA, Calif. -- For the Lady Mustangs, Saturday of the GSAC Championships marked the end of the season for the majority of the squad with Ayla Draper the sole representative of the team moving on to the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships in May.
“It’s always bittersweet,” said assistant coach Amie Schroeder. “Our girls put together a great season; we had a lot of record-breaking performances. We certainly had the ability to qualify several more of our girls to nationals, but we never quite put all the pieces together in a race. We’re disappointed, but not discouraged. We would have loved to move on, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes.”
Racing in the final of the women’s 1500m race, Hannah Kellerman looked strong through the first 700m, on pace for a qualifying mark. However, a slower third lap proved to be too much to overcome in spite of a good closing 400m. Kellerman finished seventh in 4:51.18. Although disappointed with her time, Kellerman noted it was “the best I had today.”
“Obviously, this isn’t the way we wanted to end the season,” Coach Schroeder said. “But we are fitter and faster than we’ve ever been and things are looking very good for us going into the fall.”
Following Kellerman on the track was Draper, competing in the final of the women’s 400m hurdles. As always, Draper was quick out of the blocks. Running a strong middle section of the race, Draper tightened up in the final 50m and was barely edged out of an All-GSAC spot. Nonetheless, Draper finished fourth, setting a new school record and personal best of 1:03.03.
Draper is excited to represent the Lady Mustangs at the national championships in Marion, Indiana, at the end of May and hopes to earn TMC its first NAIA All-American honors for women's track and field.