Coffey wins national NAIA crown

Written by Observer staff reports May 24, 2013 09:51 am

MARION, Ind. — Karlee Coffey had a goal Thursday night —  to win a national title at the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.  

She achieved her goal, winning the 10,000 meters and helping the Mountaineers take over first place in the team standings after one day.

Brooke Randall added a third-place finish in the javelin.

Coffey ran with Stephanie Hescook of Northwest Christian University before Coffey pulled away to win in a time of 34:52.07. Hescook finished second in 35:41.65.

Over the final 5,000 meters, Coffey pulled away from Hescook to gain her first outdoor national title after finishing second two years ago.

“She ran a magnificent race. She ran very controlled the first half just like we had planned,” Eastern Oregon head coach Ben Welch said. “Over the second half, she opened it up just like we wanted.”

Randall was fourth in the javelin last year. She moved up to third with her throw of 145 feet, 9 inches. Kelsea Hurliman just missed making the finals with her throw of 128-10. She ended up 10th overall with nine advancing to the finals. Alex Stricker finished 16th with a toss of 119-2.

“All three ladies competed better than what their marks showed,” Welch said. “They faced some real strange crosswinds throughout the competition.”

Randall’s third place finish and all-American honors makes her unique this year as one of few athletes to earn all-American honors in two sports in the same school year. She was named to third team all-American honors in basketball to add to her second all-American honor in the javelin.

According to Welch, Leigh Anne MacCarthy ran a smart, tactical race in the 3,000-meter steeplechase to finish fifth in her heat. She advances to Saturday’s final. 

MacCarthy moved into the fifth spot with two laps to go after starting at the rear of the pack. She finished in 11:28.06. 

Sora Klopfenstein of the College of Idaho won the heat in 11:06.88.

Coffey’s win and the third place in the javelin gave EOU 16 points at the end of the first day.

Day two will see the decathletes compete in the 110 hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, and 1500 meters.