Westmont’s Kearin leaps to NAIA All-American honors

Junior Kasey Kearin finished second in the women’s long jump at the NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championships on Thursday, earning All-American honors.

“I was feeling good,” said Kearin. “I had a lot of adrenalin going and my shins weren’t hurting. In my first two jumps I didn’t scratch. That is what I was most worried about because at last nationals I scratched really good jumps.”

Kearin jumped 5.69 meters (18 feet 8 inches) on her first attempt and then reached 5.85 meters (19 feet 2.5 inches) on her second jump. The mark surpassed her personal best by two inches.

“That gave me the confidence to really go for it on my last (preliminary) jump,” said Kearin. “That is probably why I scratched – because I wasn’t worried about going for it and I was running faster with more adrenalin.”

Kearin qualifying mark of 17 feet 10.75 inches was just the eighteenth best going into the competition.

“I was hoping to make the finals which was top-nine,” admitted Kearin. “I was tied for first going into finals, which I had no idea. That was a good surprise.

“In the finals, I scratched two jumps and got one legal one, but it wasn’t farther than my prelim jumps. But the prelim measurements carried on to the finals, so I ended up getting second. I was trying to get All-American, I had no idea I would get second place.

All-American recognition is given to the top six finishers in every event.

Tomorrow, Kearin will compete in the triple jump in which she posted the seventeenth best qualifying mark of 36 feet 10.25 inches.

“It feels good because there is not a lot of pressure,” said Kearin of tomorrow’s event. “I know I won’t leave here empty handed.  I think I might do better because I don’t have that pressure and can really go for it tomorrow.”

Also competing tomorrow will be Jacob Goodin who qualified for the finals of the men’s mile. Goodin finished fourth in the first heat of the semifinals with a time of 4:19.92. He was the seventh fastest qualifier for the finals.

In other events on Thursday, Lorin Milotta advanced to the semifinals of the 60 meter hurdles by posting a time of 8.91 in the first heat of the preliminaries. Her time tied for second for the fastest preliminary time.

In the semifinals, Milotta finished fourth in the first heat, completing the course in 9.06 seconds. She missed qualifying for the tomorrow’s finals by two hundredths of a second.

Lisa Griego finished sixth in the third heat of the women’s 3,000 meters in a time of 10:24.72 while Daniel Lew placed thirteenth in the men’s 3,000 meter race walk with a time of 15:07.40.