GULF SHORES, Ala.-- Kaiann Arellano (JR/Jamestown, N.D.) earned All-American honors in the heptathlon with an eighth-place finish at the NAIA National Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
After finishing day one in third place after four events, Arellano dropped to fifth place after the long jump, and despite throwing a career best 82 feet, 4 inches in the javelin, slipped to ninth place entering the final event.
A career best 2:27.78 in the 800 meters gave Arellano an eighth place finish in the event and moved her into eighth place after all seven events to secure All-American honors. Her score of 4506 points is third in Jimmie history, behind only multiple All-Americans Sarah Skipper and Kim Torrey.
"The only event that Kaiann had trouble with was the long jump," head coach Jim Clark said. "Otherwise, I don't think we could have scripted a better scenario. What was equally impressive in my eyes was that less than 30 minutes after a hard fought 800 on a very hot day, Kaiann ran the prelims of the 100 meter hurdles in 15.00 - she did not advance, but ran the 3rd best time of her career.
"She really handled things well and had a busy and outstanding two days. Tomorrow she has the high jump, her favorite event, so we are hoping for a good finale. Her best high jump ranks 12th, so a top 8 finish would take another special effort."
Amber Posner (JR/Pillager, Minn.) and Matt Young, the other Jimmie athletes who qualified for nationals, will compete in the marathon beginning at 6 a.m. Saturday morning.