Shanice McPherson, a New Mexico Highlands freshman, was named the NCAA Division II U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Female Track and Field Athlete of the Week this past Monday.
McPherson hit the qualification marks for the NCAA Championships in a pair of events while scoring 18 points in helping New Mexico Highlands capture the 2014 Air Force Invitational team title over the weekend in Colorado Springs.
She began the day on Friday in the long jump, where she easily surpassed the best distance in Division II this season with a leap of 19-10.75 (6.06 meters) to automatically qualify for the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. While she placed third in the event overall, she finished behind a U.S. Olympic medalist and was one centimeter behind a Division I athlete.
NMHU head coach Bob DeVries noted that it was McPherson’s first long jump competitions in a collegiate meet.
McPherson concluded the day by qualifying for the finals of the 60 meters.
In her only event Saturday, McPherson took 10th overall — and second among Division II athletes — in the 60 meters, crossing the line in 7.71.
McPherson now holds the top spot in the country in the long jump by 0.17 meters and is 15th in the nation in the 60 meters with a season-best time of 7.70 at the Lobo Collegiate Open Jan. 18.
The New Mexico Highlands women’s track and field team returns to action Feb. 7-8 at the New Mexico Collegiate Classic in Albuquerque.