Chloe Wilson, who grew up just down the road from Cowley College in Wellington, came to Cowley with very little throwing experience, a news release from the college said.
Now, two years later, she is getting ready to leave the school as a national champion.
With Wilson placing first in the hammer throw she helped the Lady Tigers place 10th at the NJCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships held in Hutchinson recently. The Tiger men finished in 22nd place out of 35 teams at the national meet.
Cowley head coach Cameron Rieth was thrilled by the performance of Wilson in the hammer.
“We saw the potential in practice, but she really stepped up when the bright lights were shining,” Rieth said.
South Plains (104 points) captured the men’s title, the 13th in school history. Iowa Western earned second place with 85 points, and Barton rounded out the top-3 with 68 points. Coffeyville’s 67.5 points earn them a fourth-place finish, and Butler (KS) placed fifth.
Iowa Western, which finished second on the men’s side, was the women’s national champion with 117 team points. Iowa Western finished 19 points better than second place New Mexico Junior College, while Jayhawk Conference schools Cloud County and Barton Community College placed third and fourth, respectively. South Plains finished fifth in the women’s team standings.
The Lady Tigers finished just one point behind Hinds Community College for ninth place as they ended the meet with 28 team points.
“The caliber of the national meet just keeps getting better and better,” Rieth said. “The goal was to finish in the top-10 and we hope to build on that.”
Along with Wilson, Cowley throwers Kayla McClellan and Sarah Robinson were also named All-Americans in the hammer throw. McClellan also earned All-American honors in the discus, while Kyra Choice garnered All-American honors in the shot put. Not to be outdone, freshman Arantxa Cortez placed fourth and earned All-American status in the pole vault.
“The future is bright with Arantxa,” Rieth said. “We look forward to her competing for a national title next season.”
The Tiger men were led Diego Andres-Dougan placing fourth in the 110-meter hurdles, while Tiger throwers Ahmed Brown (shot put) and Connor Kaplinger (javelin) also earned All-American honors.
“Those guys showed up big at the national meet,” Rieth said.
Adrian Diaz-Lopez, who was an indoor national champion and a member of the national champion Tiger cross country team, finished a stellar career at Cowley by placing 10th in the 1,500-meter run.
“It was not the way Adrian wanted to end his historical career at Cowley, but he gave his best effort,” Rieth said. “Things just did not fall into place for him at nationals, but it does not take away from all he accomplished here.”
With the Cowley throwers having a stellar season, Cowley’s Glenwood Edwards was named the NJCAA Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year.
“His throwers had a heck of a meet,” Rieth said. “His kids showed up big time. After winning conference titles with the men and women, we hope to parlay that success into doing even better at next year’s national meet. We will work to find the right people to bring into the program.”
*4×800-meter relay – Cowley, 10:01.95, 10th.
*5,000-meter run – Karissa Glover, 19:35.29, 22nd.
*Pole vault – Arantxa Cortez, 10-3 ¾, fourth, All-American.
*Hammer – Chloe Wilson, 162-0, national champion; Kayla McClellan, 155-0, fourth, All-American; Sarah Robinson, 140-0, eighth, All-American.
*Shot put – Kyra Choice, 42-5, sixth, All-American.
*Javelin – Shardenai Davis, 115-8, 12th.
*Discus – Kayla McClellan, 149-5, fifth, All-American; Bernesha Knowles, 130-3, 14th.
*Triple jump – Abby Rueschhoff, 35-2, 19th.
*10,000-meter run – Aidan Wells, 34:28.28, 10th.
*4×800-meter relay – Cowley, 7:59.82, 15th.
*Pole vault – Luke Faulkner, 14-0, ninth.
*Hammer – Simeon Faagai, 151-3, ninth; Jaden Schneeberger, 149-2, 10th; Trevor Green, 143-7, 13th.
*Shot put – Ahmed Brown, 52-4, seventh, All-American; Abner Johnson, 47-7, 15th.
*Discus – Mario Garcia-Arrayo, 143-0, 15th.
*Javelin – Connor Kaplinger, 180-0, fourth, All-American; Felipe Mentz, 141-8, 10th.
*1,500-meter run – Adrian Diaz-Lopez, 4:03.32, 10th.
*3,000-meter steeplechase – Santiago Nunez, 9:40.99, 12th.
*5,000-meter run – Nunez, 15:40.47, 27th.
*110-meter hurdles – Diego Andres-Dougan, 14.11, fourth, All-American.
*Decathlon – Felipe Mentz, 5,897 points, ninth.