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(Cedarville, Ohio) Cornerstone sophomore, Melissa Manlan never heard of the Race Walk growing up in Ivory Coast Africa. Most of her teammates, raised in the USA didn't either. Two races into her collegiate career she was introduced to another first: qualifying for the NAIA Indoor National Championships.
Competing at the Cedarville Collegiate Invitational, the CU walkers put four in the top fifteen at the meet and now have four in the top sixteen on the NAIA list. Senior, Monica Lawrence took 25 seconds off her season best finishing fifth in 15:24.58. Brianna Griffiths improved her PR by two seconds clocking 16:09 in ninth while Kayla Ovokaitys was two places back in 16:30.28. Susan Randall, who finished seventh at the 2012 US Olympic Trials 20k walk, won easily in 13:56.90.
Needing to walk under 17:30 to earn a spot on the NAIA list, Manlan improved 1:37 from her first race two weeks ago, finishing fifteenth in 16:55.28.64.
Cornerstone now matches Missouri Baptist with four women on the nationals list as to who programs make up half of the top sixteen in the event.