Aquinas Women - Sigafoose, Distance Medley Relay Win Titles, AQ Women Place Fifth
Provided by Aquinas
The Aquinas women's track & field team finished fifth at the NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Pittsburg, Kan. on Saturday (Mar. 3), capping the highest-finish in program history with a pair of national championships. Scoring a new program-record of 40 points, the Saints received national championship performances from Adri Sigafoose (SR/McBain, Michigan) and the distance medley relay team of Melissa Winchester (JR/Wayland, Michigan), Courtney Truss (SR/Traverse City, Michigan), Alexis Miller (JR/Caledonia, MI), and Sigafoose.
Those efforts helped Aquinas earn its first-ever top-five finish at the NAIA Indoor Championships, with new program records in highest finish and points scored. Wayland Baptist won the women's team championship with 100 points. Indiana Tech (69 points) placed second, with Southern-New Orleans (59) and Friends (56) finishing third and fourth, respectively. AQ was the second-highest finishing WHAC school at the competition.
For the AQ men's results on Saturday, click here.
In one of the most exciting races of the competition, the distance medley relay team of Winchester, Truss, Miller, and Sigafoose captured the National Championship with a thrilling finish. Winchester staked the Saints to a lead when she handed off the baton to Truss, who ran a strong 400 meter leg and kept AQ in a close second place. When Truss passed off to Miller, the Saints were not far off the pace and Miller kept the Saints within striking distance throughout her leg.
Aquinas was still second when Miller gave the baton to Sigafoose, who stayed close enough to the final runner from Wayland Baptist that the Saints may have a chance to earn the victory. With less than 200 meters to go, Sigafoose made her move and kicked it into one final gear, passing the Wayland Baptist runner down the stretch and giving AQ the victory of a little more than one second - in a time of 11:58.78. That is the third-fastest time in school history in the DMR.
The Saints have now won two of the last three distance medley relay National Championships, having also done so indoors in 2016. Winchester and Sigafoose ran on that 2016 championship team and have now won three relay national titles together; Miller has also been a part of two of those relay championships.
Going into the 800 meter finals as the highest seed, Sigafoose held that standing throughout the race and defeated the competition in a time of 2:12.73, a second and a half faster than the runner-up. It also marked the second individual national championship in Sigafoose's career.
Sigafoose also began the day for the Saints by placing third overall in the mile run with a new school record time of 4:56.92. With a combined 20 points during the competition, Sigafoose was named co-Most Valuable Performer at the meet. After Saturday's events, she has collected 20 All-America honors during her outstanding career in cross country and indoor and outdoor track & field.
Analis Floyd (JR/Grand Rapids, Michigan) posted a strong fifth-place finish in the 600 meter finals. The junior used a personal-best time of 1:35.54 and one final kick down the stretch to finish .01 ahead of sixth place and .12 ahead of the seventh-place individual. Floyd's time is the third-fastest in AQ history in the event and is the second Saint to earn All-American honors in the 600 meter run – and the first to do so since 2000.
Janie Noah (SO/Middleville, Michigan) also reached All-America status with a solid finish in the 3,000 meter run, placing seventh with a time of 10:09.09. Noah's time is also the third-fastest in Saints history in the 3K race and became the second AQ runner to earn All-America honors in the 3,000 meter run – and the first since 2010.
The 4x400 relay team recorded a seventh-place finish, as Floyd, Rose Russo (FR/Jenison, Michigan), Jordan Goodman (FR/Fountain, Michigan), and Truss crossed the line in 3:57.17.