Ohio) Freshman, Anita Souza arrived at Cornerstone University on New Year's Day
ready to begin the Indoor Track & Field season. Her eagerness evolved into
frustration as it took four more weeks for the NAIA to clear her for
eligibility. An early morning wake up
call, just two hours before the bus left for the SPIRE Midwest Indoor T&F
Open, brought Souza to Larry Bos' office to sign her eligibility certificate.
news meant Souza would celebrate her birthday on Saturday in the starting
blocks for CU. Moments before the 60 meter hurdle prelims, coach Rod Wortley
approached Anita in the staging area, "She was excited and nervous," said
Wortley, "she held up her had to show me it was shaking. She didn't need any
advice on how to hurdle, but as anxious as she was, I told her to make sure to
wait for the gun."
Souza got a
fair start then aggressively attacked the five hurdles. The 2011 Brazilian under-23
Champion hit the finish line as the next competitor was clearing the last
hurdle. Her time of 8.83 broke the CU record of 8.87 set last year by Amy Boyer
and was well under the NAIA automatic qualifying standard of 9.20. Three hours
later Souza improved her record to 8.70 taking second in the finals to Ventura
Brooklyn from the University of Buffalo and putting her second on the NAIA
school records fell at the meet. Friday evening the distance medley relay of
Julia Contreras, Lauren Pierce, Julie Oosterhouse and Jill Louisignau broke the
old mark of 12:29.68 set by Becca Wright, Samantha Smith, Amy VanderSloot and
Andi Owens in 2008. Their time of 12:26.17 was good for 5th place
and qualifies the DMR for NAIA Nationals for the 7th year in a row.
returned to the track Saturday to take seventh in the 800 meters. Julie added
the school record to the freshman record she set two weeks earlier. Her time of
2:18.37 was just under the mark of 2:18.94 set by Andi Ripley in 2010 and the
NAIA automatic standard of 2:19.00.
personal best from the weekend included Lauren Pierce in the 200 meters
(26.96), and freshmen Kaylee Carew (11:08.06) and CallyAnne Wyma (11:11.36) in
the 3000 meters.
Oosterhouse, Pierce and Larissa Hampton to end the meet with a provisional
qualifying mark in the 4 x 400 relay, clocking 4:00.94 to win their heat and
finish fifth overall.