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NAIA Indoor Nationals '24 - South Dakota Journal

Hello everyone and welcome to a long overdue indoor track nationals recap! I've had these photos saved up since it happened and for some reason have just waited on creating a meaningful log of my experiences there, but the time has come to reflect and share the wonderful opportunity it was to compete in South Dakota for the NAIA indoor track national championship.

In late January I ran a significant 5k PR of 18:07 on my first ever indoor track 5k and in the process ran under the 18:10 B qualifying standard, meaning I signed myself up to take the trek to Brookings, South Dakota to compete against the best in the NAIA. This was a bit of a far off goal that I didn't expect to reach for a while in the indoor season, if at all, so when I ran that qualifying PR I was a bit shocked and over the moon excited. Before I knew it, the regular indoor season was over and I was on a plane with my coaches and one other teammate on our way to Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

While this trip was so exciting and such an incredible opportunity, it was also rather scary and very intimidating. When I went to cross country nationals in November it was with my women's team that qualified so I got to share that experience with a whole group of women, but this nationals trip was a total of four people, only one of whom is my lovely teammate Julia who also qualified in both the 3k and 5k. We stayed for five days in Sioux Falls and I got the new experience of both indoor nationals and an individual qualifier nationals experience.

I'm so thankful and excited to say that I came away from the 5k race as 16th place out of 29 competitors in a time of 18:09!! Unfortunately this was not the time I had wanted to tried to achieve, but I was glad to make it through the race having owned my space and run my best. I came into the race seeded 30th out of 30 and so finishing in 16th place, nearly top half and 4 places away from qualifying for the final, was a pleasant surprise to say the least. This was competitively so different from anything I've experienced before in racing and I learned so much from simply being the in same atmosphere of the best in the NAIA country for a few days.

Having never even been close to touching that region of the US, South Dakota was an interesting new travel experience. It was physically rather similar to PA, but so cool to see the falls that Sioux Falls was named after and to visit the tri-state border of South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska. That's three new states I got to touch in the span of a day! Such cool stuff. But I don't see myself moving to South Dakota of my own accord any time soon, lol.

I came away from this nationals trip slightly disappointed in some aspects of my race, thrilled with others, and having learned so much. This trip was such a learning experience and really fueled me to train and work hard for the next few years in pursuit of more and better national performances, as well as running performances as a whole. 16th in the NAIA in the 5k and 5th freshman - glory to God and so motivated for the future! Go bees!!! 🐝⚡️

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