Jan. 26, 2020
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. --- Biola's Natasha Miller extended her reign as the women's pentathlon champion in record breaking fashion Thursday at the NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships in the MSHA/ETSU Athletic Center on the campus of East Tennessee State University.
Miller, a junior, dominated the 15 finalist field as she had a 464 point edge over the second place finisher, Azusa Pacific's Tiffeny Parker, en route to her 3,992 point total. Miller's overall total bettered the point record she set last year (3,943), while she also improved on the national mark in the pentathlon high jump with her jump of 5-10 3/4.
"I just wanted to improve on what I did last year," commented Miller. "I love competing here; the community for the pentathlon is awesome. The girls are so enjoyable to be around. The pentathlon is always mentally tough and just being strong mentally and prepared physically is a big thing."
To start the day, Miller won the 60 meter hurdle race and set a new indoor school record with a blistering 8.75 second finish. Her lead was extended in the high jump, where she again set an indoor school record and better her NAIA record with a 1.80 meter (5 feet, 10-3/4 inches) leap.
Miller soared through the long jump with yet another school record of 5.65 meters and finished with a 2:19 in the 800 meter run to solidify her national title. When the dust had settled, Miller spent a total of six and a half hours on the track to complete the five disciplines of the pentathlon.
Miller is not done at the NAIA Championships, either, looking to continue her success on Friday competing in the prelims and semifinals for the 60 meter hurdles. She enters as the No. 2 overall seed, but edged out the No. 1 seed, Tiffeny Parker of APU, during the race in the pentathlon.
The momentum continued for the Eagles’ throughout the day as both the women’s distance medley and 4x800 meter relays qualified for finals. The 4x800 meter relay set an indoor school record with a time of 9:16, a solid nine seconds faster than the previous record. Juniors Kelsey Gasner and Katie Thede along with sophomores Nychele Fischetti and Jane Kerner enter the final heat tomorrow as the No. 5 seed. The Biola women’s 4x800 have now qualified for finals in the past three consecutive national championships.
After setting a school record and establishing a spot in the finals of the 4x800, the women bounced right back to earn a position in the finals of the distance medley relay with a 12:15. Gasner, Thede, Fischetti and sophomore Brooke Forsi combined to run a smart qualifying race.
Two of Biola’s distance runners also ran solid races in the 5,000 meter run semifinals. Junior Danielle Calhoun ran a 19:06 in her heat while on the men's side, Ryan Richert clocked a 15:30 for his 3.1-mile race.
Follow the Biola track and field teams throughout the rest of the championship by visiting the official NAIA Championship website at http://naia.cstv.com/genrel/2010IndoorTFChampionships.html.
Written by Jeff Hoffman, Sports Information Director. Jenna Bartlo, Media Relations Coordinator, can be reached at (562) 777-4061 or through email at jenna [dot] l [dot] bartlo [at] biola [dot] edu.
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