Rodenfels Finishes Third in NCAA Steeplechase, earns All-American honors
GENEVA, Ohio (CentreColonels.com) - The final day of the NCAA Division III Track & Field Championships capped off a memorable event for Centre as the Colonels achieved their second All-American performance of the meet. This time sophomore Annie Rodenfels (Centerville, Ohio) made history with a lifetime best performance in the 3000m steeplechase.
Rodenfels, who was able to conserve her energy in Thursday's preliminary heat and still comfortably advance to Saturday's final, posted a time of 10:36.23 to finish in third place, setting a new personal best and a new Centre record in the event by nearly three full seconds.
The third place finish ties the highest finish in an NCAA event in Centre women's track and field history, equaling the finish posted by All-American Kasey Jackson in the 100m hurdles in the 2011 finals.
With Rodenfels and teammate Sarah Hayhurst (Newburgh, Ind.) each garnering All-America status, the 2017 NCAA Championships also mark just the second time in program history in which Centre has had two women's track All-Americans, with Rodenfels and Hayhurst joining Kasey Jackson and All-America hammer thrower Emily Niehaus, who accomplished their feats in 2011.
The NCAA Finals were a fitting end of a remarkable season for Rodenfels, who set eight individual Centre women's track and field records as a sophomore - including two that already belonged to her - as well as being named the Southern Athletic Association Women's Track Athlete of the Year award after winning all four of her events at the conference championship meet.