Sophomore Gretchen Spahr went to the NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championships for the second year in a row. Spahr attended as an individual competitor and brought home a No. 17 finish.
Spahr is now two-for-two in her collegiate career at attending the indoor championships. Last year, she and her teammates qualified for the distance medley relay (DMR).
Spahr was the lone qualifier for the Foresters this year and ran solo in the 5,000 meter run.
“I wasn’t expecting to qualify for nationals,” she said. “My times had been nowhere near what I needed to qualify, but one day I just ran and posted the time I did.”
Her qualifying time of 18:10:46 was posted at the DePauw University Indoor Classic. Spahr took her place in the Forester record books with the race, demolishing the previous record by 25 seconds.
At the finals in Geneva, Ohio, Spahr, the No. 11 seed, wrapped up her season with a No. 17 finish and a time of 18:27:33.
“The competition was good,” she said. “The other girls killed it. [They] were beating their qualifying times, and I did my best to keep up.”
Spahr thanked her team for pushing her and offering her encouragement while preparing for nationals, saying she felt like she was not in it alone. Although looking forward to the outdoor track season, Spahr said she has her sights set on taking the relay team back to nationals next year.
“I would say the goal for next year would be to qualify with the DMR,” she said. “We should have a really good chance to, especially if no one is injured like Cendall Ogle was this year.”