Crystal Schmidt became the first multi-event all-American in Carroll College history. (Photo courtesy: Nick Dawson)

Carroll College athletics release

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Crystal Schmidt scored a personal best 3,413 in the pentathlon to take third-place overall and lead the way for the Saints in day one of the NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championship at David E. Walker Track at Gentry Field on the campus of East Tennessee State University.

Schmidt jumped a personal best 5-7 in the high jump and won the shot put by over a meter with a throw of 49-feet-6.5 inches to highlight her day and lead the way to her third-place finish. She is the first Carroll athlete to earn All-American honors in the multi-events.

“It is hard to be disappointed when she ended her indoor career with a PR and a third-place finish,” head coach Harry Clark said. “Her high jump was great, she looked like she was going to clear 5-8 and just missed. I thought that she had a great chance to win it after that, but the first and second-place finishers outperformed their season bests by a large margin to hold her off. ”

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Chelsea Baker from Friends University took first place with a score of 3,698 and Becky Collier from Westmont was second with a score of 3,516. Both beat their season-best performances by several hundred points.

Bethany Lacock entered the meet ranked 13th in the field and also recorded a PR of 3,131 to finish in a tie for 11th-place.

The pentathlon is the only event scored on the first day, but there were several preliminaries.

Janie Reid took fourth in her heat of the 5,000-meter run to advance to Saturday’s final. She knew that she was in great position late in the race and let up to preserve energy for Saturday.

“Janie knew that she was going to finish in the top-four with about 1,000-meters to run, so she shut it down and cruised to the finish,” Clark said. “She ran a smart race and put herself in a great position for Saturday. That was exciting to see.”

The Carroll 4×400-meter relay followed a similar script to Reid. They had a large lead coming around the last corner, so Kara Barth coasted in with the heat victory. Still, the Saints notched the second-best overall time in the prelims with a 3:51.88.

“They ran fast and relaxed tonight, and did what they needed to do to advance to the finals,” Clark said. “They got off a little too quick, but they will get the worked out. I was surprised at how easy we ran that good of a time. It will be fun to watch the open 400 and the 4×400 final Saturday.

The only other competition on the day for the Saints was the prelim of the men’s distance medley relay. The Saints did not post a fast enough time to qualify for the final.

Carroll will have competitors in the women’s long jump, the men’s and women’s mile prelims, the women’s 400-meter prelims, the women’s pole vault, the women’s 1,000-meter prelims and the women’s 3,000-meter prelims.

“We are very excited for tomorrow,” Clark said. “We get into the real meat of the event, and the kids are ready to go. It should be a lot of fun.”

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