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(Johnson City, Tenn.) The opening day of the NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships became the most productive beginning in Cornerstone T&F history, producing two All-Americans and two school records.
Senior, Kayla Wilson and junior, Amy Boyer stood third and ninth in the field of sixteen women competing in the pentathlon. Both started off well in the 60 meter hurdles with Boyer taking fifth (9.24 / 860 points) and Wilson sixth (9:41 / 825 points).
The high jump, second of the five events, proved to be the turning point. Sixth seed, Kimmy Moore of Eastern Oregon failed to clear a height, eliminating her from contention. Boyer made five heights on her first attempt, missed one before clearing a personal best 5' 5". The 795 points she earned put her in second place after two events. Wilson got 724 points for making 5' 2.5" dropper her to eighth.
Boyer followed with another PR in the shot put with a mark of 32' 10.25" for 530 points while Wilson's 32' 2" effort gained her 516 points. Boyer still held third by 32 points and Wilson moved up to seventh by just six points.
Wilson made her move in two of her best events, the long jump and the 800 meters. Her leap of 16' 10" was the fifth best and worth 595 points and put her within 16 points of sixth. Boyer matched her PR of 16' 8" for another 581 points keeping her in third, 57 points ahead of fourth.
Few pentathletes specialize in or even like the 800 meters, but with only 50 points separating fourth from seventh, beating an opponent by five seconds would mean a 60 point gain. Wilson would need to run as close to her best of 2:22.35 to secure an All-American plaque. Boyer needed to be close to her best of 2:27.85 to remain in the top six. When the gun sounded, Wilson went immediately to the front and remained there for nearly 400 meters. Boyer put herself behind five women bunched together in the main pack. Wilson slipped to third but dug in, refusing to concede another spot, pushing through the finish in a new PR 2:22.06. The additional 796 points gave her 3457, eclipsing her school record of 3414 set in January. As the pack strung out, Boyer drifted back to ninth, but kept fighting for every snippet of time. The final 20 meters seemed to drag out for an eternity as her form stiffened and her head tilted back. When the finish line came, Amy took one rigid step to her left and dropped horizontally to the infield, for the moment taking neither pleasure nor comfort in the fact that her determined 2:29.24 was enough to keep her in third place.
Natasha Miller of Biola successfully defended her 2009 title with 3992 points. Boyer's 3468 made her the new school record holder and tied her with Cathi Powell for the highest nationals finish in the pentathlon. Amanda Straw of Fresno Pacific got within four points of Boyer for fourth with 3464, just seven ahead of Wilson. Breanna Leslie of Azusa Pacific took sixth in 3451. Incredibly just seventeen points separated third from sixth.
The day concluded with semifinal action. Janelle Lindman too 20th in the 5,000 meters, running just four seconds off her personal best, clocking 18:38.54. The women's 4 x 400 relay of Lauren Pierce, Emma Ordway, Kelly Peterson and Melissa Sawicki finished 16th, running 4:05.42. The 4 x 800 relay lowered the school record to 9:31.XX. Janey Sluka, Kelly Peterson, Julia Contreras and Andi Ripley erased the old mark of 9:32.61 set in 2005 by Margaret Pelz, Amy VanderSloot, Becca Busfield and Shannon Bambach.