Carroll College’s Terah Cundith pole vaulted a career-best 12-0.5 to tie for fifth place and earn the first All-American finish of her career on Friday. The performance highlighted the second day for the Saints at NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championship in Johnson City, Tennessee.
"I am really proud of Terah," coach Harry Clark said. "She came in here with her mind right and did a really good job. There were 22 vaulters, and that is intimidating. She did a great job of doing what she needed to do. It is hard to beat a PR at nationals."
Leah Esposito booked her ticket to the 1,000-meter final, running a time of 2:56.18. She finished with the fourth-best time in prelims. She placed second in her heat, finishing closely behind Sara Moore of Oklahoma City, who ran a 2:55.98. Esposito will be busy Saturday, too, competing in the 1,000 and mile.
"Leah's heat they took off quick early, but she stayed patient and relaxed," Clark said. "She stayed back and let everyone else do the work and picked up the second-place finish which is all that she needed to do to qualify."
Macala Fifield finished fifth in her heat with a time of 3:03.97 in the 1,000, but did not qualify for the final.
Sophomore Samantha Mundel ran a time of 10:19.25 in the women’s 3,000-meter to finish with the second best qualifying time behind Scad Atlanta’s Emily Kearney, who ran a 10:14.45.
"Sam looked great from the get go," Clark said. "She got in her spot and stayed there. She ran a great race and showed a lot of maturity. We'll see what she can do tomorrow."
Kara Barth ran a solid 400, finishing in a time of 58:07 to win her heat and advance to the event’s final round. Her time was the final mark to qualify for the final.
"Kara won her heat to get into finals and will finish at least in the top eight," Clark said. "She came into the meet ranked 10th, so it is exciting to see her move up without pushing it in the prelim.”
Sophomore teammates Monica White and Keely Ehmann narrowly missed qualification, running 58.45 and 59.02, respectively. The unit of Barth, White, and Ehmann will compete for Carroll’s 4x400 relay in the final on Saturday.
Chance Hyatt got it done in the mile, running a 4:21.61, the third-fastest time, and advancing to the final. Hyatt ran in the fast heat, with five runners all finishing within a second of each other. All but one runner in his heat qualified for the final.
Sophomore jumper Hannah Porch placed 17th in the long jump, hitting a mark of 17-8.25.
Saturday will be a day of finals and Carroll has a bunch qualified. Sophomore Annika Moore will compete in the triple jump. Esposito will compete in the mile and 1,000-meter finals Hyatt will be active in the mile final. Chris Emter, a junior, will compete in the shot put finals. Barth will be in the 400 and 4x400 final. Keaton Brady will compete in the pole vault final. Crystal Schmidt, who took sixth in the penthalon, will be active in the high jump final. Mundel will be in the 3,000-meter final. Janie Reid will be in the 5,000-meter final. Carroll’s 4x400 team will be in the final.
The Saints are sitting just a point and a half out of fourth place in the women's team standings, setting them up for a potentially huge finish.
"We are set up nice on the women's side," Clark said. "We need some big performances tomorrow to accomplish what we would like to do, but that is why we came here and what we expect out of everyone."