TRK: Mitchell makes Westmont history at NAIA Indoor Nationals

Elysia Hodges - Westmont Track & Field

Elysia Mitchell is now a 10-time NAIA All-American.

GENEVA, OHIO — Thanks to today’s first place finish in the 600 meters by senior Elysia Mitchell and three additional All-American performances, Westmont Women’s Track and Field took fifth place at the NAIA Indoor National Championships – the highest finish in program history. The Warriors tallied 41 points, just two points out of fourth place.

Mitchell’s win makes her the first Warrior to repeat as national champion since Amber Nixon won the outdoor high jump in 2002 and 2003.

“Elysia ran a very controlled race, chasing the person who took a hard lead,” said Westmont head coach Russell Smelley. “Once she took the lead with about 160 meters to go, she kept it and extended it all the way down the home stretch. She won it cleanly – no challenge.

Mitchell is now a 10-time NAIA All-American – more than any other athlete in Warrior history.

The women’s 4 x 400 meter relay claimed All-American honors with a fourth place finish while setting a school record of 3:47.21.

“Jessica (Erickson) led off with a 57.4 and put the team in good position,” said Smelley. “Kaylin (Koopmans) ran a 59.0 to keep us were we needed to be. Taryn (Phipps) ran 55.8 and Elysia ran 54.9, moving up one place.”

Also earning All-American honors on the final day of the championships were sophomore Becky Collier and junior Alexus Dalton competing in the high jump. Collier finished fourth with a height of 1.71 meters (5-7.5) and Dalton placed seventh with a mark of 1.68 meters (5-6). For Collier, it was her second All-American title of the week and the sixth of her career. For Dalton, it was her third All-American honor, having picked up one on each day of the championship.

Also competing on Saturday was senior Shane Rowan in the triple jump. Rowan finished 13th with a mark of 14.05 meters (46-1.05).