Ball State senior Anna-Kay West, left, and freshman Anasja Troutman, center, compete in the 60 meter hurdles on Feb. 16 in the Ball State Tune-up at the Field Sports building. Madeline Grosh, DN
Track & Field and Cross Country: A running history of success
Editor's note: In honor of the university's centennial year, The Daily News is counting down 100 days to the university's celebration Sept. 6 with 100 of Ball State's most famous traditions and figures. Check back each day to read about Cardinal history.
The Ball State Track & Field and Cross Country teams have been highlighted for their success at conference and national levels. Both programs have held a distinguished honor that is known all over the nation with the team and individuals through out the years performing at an elite level.
One name that has highlighted the Ball State and MAC record books is LaTasha Jenkins. Competing for the Cardinals from 1996-99, Jenkins held prominence in the track world with various conference and national honors. Jenkins was a five time NCAA All-American in 1998 (200m indoor and outdoor) and 1999 (200m indoor and outdoor, 100m outdoor), an NCAA outdoor track & field champion in 1999 (200m dash) and was a part of the 4 x 200m relay team that set the world record for the event. Jenkins still holds the MAC record for the 200m event.
As a team, the Cardinals have been seen as a notable name in the MAC for years. The Cardinals have won four outdoor titles and three indoor titles in a little over 20 years.The numbers don’t lie, the Cardinals have won 124 indoor and outdoor MAC titles, qualified 15 individuals for the NCAA National Championship, had seven individuals named NCAA All-American and six individuals compete in various national and international competitions.
The Cardinals have faired well on an international stage as well. At the 2008 USA Track & Field Indoor Championships, Amber Williams took fourth place in the 60m Hurdles event. Alongside Williams, Bonita Harrington took the silver medal in the 1983 U.S. Olympic Sport Festival and Jenkins competed in the 2000 USA Olympic Trials
In Cross Country, the Cardinals have found a lot of success on the national level in the past 18 years. In 2002, the Cardinals would qualify for the NCAA Cross Country National Championship. The team finished in 27 place with Stacey Ritz, who was named an NCAA All-American and qualified for the NCAA National Championship in 2001, leading the way finishing in 77 place with a time of 21:17. The next season, the Cardinals won their only MAC Cross Country title. Overall, Cross Country has qualified four individuals for the NCAA National Championship.
As of last season, senior Regan Lewis became the seventh Cardinal to qualify for the NCAA National Championship. Lewis competed in the high jump event finishing in 10 place.