Cowgirls in outdoor nationals

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By Dave Kavanaugh

Capping a strong overall season for the New Mexico Highlands women’s track and field program, two Cowgirl athletes represented the school in the NCAA Division II Outdoor National Championships hosted by Colorado State-Pueblo May 23-25.

NMHU junior Sheneika Rochester ran the 100-meter dash in 11.85 seconds, just off the qualifying time for the finals. Rochester’s time was the 17th fastest of the 23 sprinters but was just 16 hundredths of a second behind Samantha Bogatz of Grand Canyon, the last to make the cut from the preliminary heats.

Danielle Williams, junior from Johnson C. Smith, ended up winning the event with a time of 11.24 in the finals. She also won the 200.

Rochester had posted the fastest women’s 100 time of any Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference athlete this spring. She ran an 11.83 on April 12 at the West Texas Open.

Sophomore Danisha Phipps and freshman Destiny Dilworth owned the top two performances (4,868 and 4,632, respectively) in the outdoor heptathlon and both were provisional qualifiers. Phipps joined Rochester at the Pueblo meet but didn’t finish due to an injury, according to NMHU.

NMHU’s 400-meter relay team posted a 46.96 time, a provisional qualifying effort and the second-fastest in the league this spring. The Cowgirls also had the second-best 1,600-meter relay time with a 3:57.57.

NMHU frosh Michelle Traynham had the RMAC’s best javelin throw (138-6) and was a provisional NCAA qualifier.

Highlands junior Jereece Maxwell had the RMAC’s quickest time in the 400-meter hurdles (1:03.43) but missed the nationals cut.

Phipps was a provisional qualifier in the high jump (5-6 1/2), as was junior CiCi Cordova in the pole vault (11-7 1/4).

As a team, the Cowgirls were third in the RMAC outdoor season to follow a second-place showing in indoor track under coach Bob DeVries.