Waverly, IA – A tremendous season to remember continues for junior Jordin Fender, who won her preliminary heat in the women's 100 meter hurdles at the Division III NCAA Track and Field Championships on Friday afternoon on the campus of Wartburg College.
Fender crossed the finish line in 14.28 seconds, a new PR for the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Indoor and Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year to win the heat and automatically advance to the finals on Saturday afternoon.
The new PR was Fender's latest in just over a week, as she broke a short-standing PR from last Thursday's Great Lakes Meet at Ohio Wesleyan University. Fender's then-PR of 14.37 seconds shaved two-tenths of a second off of her previous best, allowing her to advance to nationals after the time placed her within the top-22 qualification list.
In qualifying for Nationals last week, Fender became the first Transylvania track and field athlete to make it to the NCAA Track and Field Championships since the program began in 2008.
Fender has swiftly made the most of her Pioneering experience, advancing to the finals in her first appearance at Nationals, and thus the first time for a Transylvania Pioneer.
Fender's time was the fifth-best of the three heats as she took first place in the second heat.
"The race was pure drive and determination for Jordin," said Track and Field Head Coach Heidi Pinkerton. "She was determined to make the finals and she made it happen. Right now I think it's a drive coming from within and she likes competition, and wants to perform on the big stage."
Fender's final race of the year takes place tomorrow, Saturday May 28 as the women's 100 meter hurdles final is scheduled for approximately 2:00 p.m. Central time/3:00 p.m. Eastern time.
"We'll keep the same kind of mindset as we did going into the prelims and try to stay relaxed," added Pinkerton on recuperation plans heading into the final race. "She knows the process isn't over yet and she still has an opportunity to improve among the field."
The personal best in her first Nationals continues a magnificent May for the junior from Lexington, Kentucky (Dunbar HS), who repeated as champion at the HCAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships earlier this month in the women's 100 meters, 200 meters, 100 meter hurdles, and 4x100 relay.
The NCAA is live streaming the entire championship event. To watch Fender compete on Saturday, click on the following link - VIDEO