Prizes in pandemic

Holmberg, Igbonagwam named All-Americans for indoor track season

Daniel Newman, Sports Editor

two female athletes pose for a photo on an indoor track
Dania Holmberg and Peace Igbonagwam at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Birmingham, a few hours before the event was cancelled. (Photo courtesy of Dania Holmberg)

Seattle Pacific University track and field athletes Dania Holmberg and Peace Igbonagwam were awarded All-American status on Wednesday, May 27, for qualifying for the NCAA Indoor Track and Field championships before the cancellation of the season.

“Being named All-American in these events feels bittersweet,” Holmberg said in an email. “I am very grateful to receive this award, because it’s the acknowledgment of all the hard work that got fellow athletes, as well as myself, to the national championship in the first place.”

The pair had just arrived back at their hotel after a workout on the Birmingham Crossplex track in Birmingham, Alabama, when they were told the news of the cancellation by head coach Karl Lerum.

“While I wholeheartedly support the reasons behind our season’s abrupt end, it was difficult to know that the season had ended before we had the chance to see the results of our hard work,” said Holmberg.

Holmberg, who was also an All-American in the cross country season, was set to compete in the 3,000 and 5,000 meter races, holding the ninth fastest time in the nation in the 5,000 and the 12th best time in the 3,000.

Igbonagwam was going to compete in the long jump, after finishing sixth in the event at the championships last year, and held the 11th seed going into the competition this year, fresh off a GNAC championship win three weeks earlier.

In normal conditions, All-American status would be given to the top 12 finishers in each event, but the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association decided to give the award to everyone who would have participated in the meet.

“Even though I didn’t earn it with my finishing place on the track, I’m thankful that our hard work was recognized and acknowledged despite the season’s changes,” Holmberg said.

The Falcon reached out to Peace Igbonagwam, but she did not return attempts to contact her before production of this article.