Four Falcons nest as All-Americans

Chris Harper


It was a big weekend for the Falcons as four athletes headed to Charlotte, North Carolina to compete in the NCAA Division II Championships.

Mary Charleson, Scout Cai, Kate Lilly and Renick Meyer suited up to end the season on a high note.
This also marks the 37th consecutive spring that the Falcons sent an athlete to Nationals, with the streak beginning in 1982.

Renick Meyer had a great weekend to say the least, as she doubled up on All-America awards.

Meyer competed on Thursday and Friday, and placed seventh in both the women’s long jump and women’s heptathlon categories.

“I was just very grateful for all God has blessed me with. It is a satisfying feeling to see all the hard work pay off!” Meyer said when asked about how it felt to step on the podium twice.
“When we have really talented freshmen, we always hope to give them a chance to see the national meet,” SPU head coach Karl Lerum said. “But Renick carried herself as if it wasn’t her first time. She came in and competed tough for two days.”
Scout Cai also earned an All-America award on Friday by placing ninth in the heptathlon, which earned her second-team honors.

This marks Cai’s second All-America award. Cai finished fifth in the pentathlon during the winter indoor season, earning first-team recognition.

Kate Lilly got into the 1,500 meter finals by the skin of her teeth.

Lilly leaned across the finish line for a career best final time of 4:30.11, just a hair better than Darroneshia Lott of Coker College by nine hundredths of a second, for the fourth and final wildcard spot for Saturday’s 12 runner championship race.

“It’s like surreal. I ran to make finals, but I didn’t really expect to make finals,” Lilly said.

Lilly ended her sophomore season on Saturday, placing tenth in the 1,500m in 4:30.49, just shy of her career best 4:30.11 time she posted in Thursday’s preliminary heats.

Unfortunately, final SPU competitor Charleson was unable to advance to the finals in her last race as a Falcon.

Charleson placed eleventh in the opening heat of the 1,500m run and 21st overall with a time of 4:35.37.

This was Charleson’s final season with the Falcons, as she is graduating this year.

“In my four years of running track and cross country at SPU, I am proud of my accomplishments. My freshman year I came in wanting to be a part of a team, and I never expected to be an All-American,” she said.

During her time on the team, Charleson said she wouldn’t change a thing.

“I am proud of my personal records and trips to nationals, especially because I had to overcome injury and work extremely hard to accomplish them,” she said.

On top of it all Charleson said, “My coaches have been so supportive of me in my four years, through major accomplishments and difficult injuries.

I owe my success to them, as they’ve helped build the skills and confidence in me over the years to achieve my goals. My teammates mean the world to me; they are my best friends and are what have made these last four years so fulfilling.”
Meyer is looking forward to the upcoming offseason, as the Falcons track team will not compete again until September in the Sundodger Invitational. “I’m just going to keep training, and hopefully next year, I’ll be even more prepared and improved!”