The inaugural women’s track and field season came to an end this weekend in Marion, Indiana at the NAIA track and field National Championships. In just its first year IIT was represented on the national stage by senior Stephanie Lucas (Midland, Mi) in two different events. Thursday night Ms. Lucas toed the line against the best in the country in the 10,000m run finals. In her first exposure to national championship talent and pressure Ms. Lucas did not disappoint. When the race was over and the dust had settled Stephanie had finished in 14th place at the NAIA National Championships.
On Friday Ms. Lucas attempted to complete the 10k/5k double. After competing in the 10,000m run the prior evening she was now preparing to race in the preliminaries heats of the 5,000m run. The hopes of advancing to the finals on Saturday night required a top six finish in her heat, or boast one of the remaining four fastest times. Those 16 individuals will advance to the next evenings final. One of only 7 individuals in the nation attempting the feat, tonight was what proved to be a fitting end to a stellar collegiate career. Although Ms. Lucas did not qualify for the finals she leaves IIT as the most decorated runner and arguable the best athlete in school history.
Holder of every cross country school record, an individual conference championship (2008), a National Runner of the Week award (10/2010), plus an All-Conference selection, National Qualifier, and NAIA National Scholar Athlete Award recipient each of her four years helped to establish an impressive running resume. Additionally she has set the best school marks in four indoor and five outdoor track and field events. Stephanie has also been recognized as the IIT athletic departments “Freshman of the Year” (2007-08), Schommer-Weismann Award winner (2009-10), and the Ed Glancy Award for “Outstanding Senior Athlete” (2010-11). Her team has also bestowed upon her its “Best Newcomer” award (2007), and team “MVR” twice (2009 & 2010).