BRADENTON, Fla. — The Pittsburgh State University women’s outdoor track & field team used a balanced attack to capture the program’s first NCAA Division II National Championship on Saturday, May 28th at the IMG Academy.
They were not favored to win the meet and would likely shared the crown if St. Augustine’s University 4 x 400 meters relay team had come in third place. The break down of how Pittsburgh State University brought home their program’s first NCAA Division II National Championship began with Sophomore Emilee Iverson who captured 1st place in the high jump with a height of 5 feet and 9.25 inches. Senior Cassie Caswell was also outstanding in adding runner up points in the shot put and 5th place finishes in the discus and hammer throws for the Gorillas. Jasmine Smith’s 3rd throw of 15.16 in the shot put was enough to secure 5th place. The 4 x 100 meters team of Imani Hutchinson, Kelsey Lewis, Ramie Grayson and Courtney Nelson set the tone early when they gained 1st place in their heat with a time of 45.38. Though they were not able to take the crown, a time of 45.18 and 8 points was just fine to secure 2nd place. Courtney Nelson was able to add more points when she crossed the line fourth in the 100 meters hurdle. The Heptathlon typically doesn’t receive much coverage, but when you see an athlete like Emilyn Dearman taking fourth overall and using the right amount of Gorilla toughness to get in the 400 meters hurdle final, all you can say is “Wow”. She was able to edge out Humboldt State’s Alyssabeth DeJerez’s time of 1:00.14 by .01 of a second to take the final spot. Once in the final, Dearman was able to take 5th place and add 4 more points. Great job IMG and University of Tampa for hosting such a memorable event. Once again, hats off to Pittsburgh State University for doing all that was needed to win the championship!