In Their Own Words: Winning A National Championship

A national championship is what every collegiate athlete dreams of, and that dream became a reality for the George Fox women’s track & field team at the 2018 NCAA DIII Outdoor Track & Field National Championships. We asked the women of the National team to share their reaction to bringing home the third-ever National title in George Fox history.

Dakota Buhler | Third Place and All-American, Women’s Long Jump; Fourth Place and All-American, Women’s Triple Jump; Women’s Team National Champion

Coming into the final relay, we looked at the point spread and realized that we actually had an outside shot at a National Title, but multiple factors needed to line up in order for that to happen. As the race started and those factors started falling into place perfectly, we were getting more and more excited. By the end of the race, we were jumping higher and cheering louder than we ever had before, so when the final variable fell into place at the conclusion of the relay, the excitement was a level beyond anything I had ever felt. Winning a national team title at the conclusion of my senior year was one of those moments I will never, ever forget, and there’s nothing more special than finding that victory alongside my team for the glory of God.

Sarah King | Women’s 4x100m National Champion and All-American; Fourth Place and All-American, Women’s 400m; Fifth Place and All-American, Women’s 200m; Women’s Team National Champion

It felt unreal. It’s hard to believe that we got exactly the number of points that we needed to win and so many crazy things happened, like Annie not only making the podium, but actually getting second place with a hurt hamstring; Dakota placing third in long jump with a huge PR; Stacy clearing 5’7 on her first jump and placing third when she came in ranked 21st; and our 4×1 winning the national title. If anyone had told me beforehand that this is how it would turn out, I would have thought they were crazy.

Stacy Kozlowski | Third Place and All-American, Women’s High Jump; Women’s Team National Champion

Winning the national title and being named an All-American was totally a God thing. It was such a blessing to get to experience that moment and share in those lifetime memories with my teammates. This was my first time at Nationals, so it was funny because in my head I thought, “oh, is this not a normal thing?” We knew we had a chance to win if everyone performed like expected, but there was one specific moment when I realized we had actually done it. A few of us were sitting in the bleachers watching the 4×4, which was the last event that would decide our fate, and when it finished and we looked at the scores, Dakota and I locked eyes for a second and had this feeling of “IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING?!” It was amazing. I am so happy God let me be a part of this team. I had prayed that God let me feel like I was truly a part of the team, and BOY, did He make that happen!

Lis Larsen | Women’s 4x100m National Champion and All-American; Women’s Team National Champion

With this being my first nationals, I didn’t really know what to expect. Coming into the finals of the 4×100, I was very nervous. Once the race had started and the baton was getting closer to me, the nerves increased. Sara had handed me the baton and I had to just hold our lead. As I got closer to the finish line, the nerves turned into excitement. I crossed the finish line and could not believe how well my team had done. After many incredible performances by my other teammates, winning a national team title seemed more and more possible. As the day went on, the excitement I already had tremendously increased. By the end of the day, many (happy) tears had been shed.

Kennedy Taube | Women’s 4x100m National Champion and All-American; Women’s Team National Champion

It was such an honor to be named an All American with my teammates who have been training alongside of me for the past 9 months. I have to thank my coaches for all they have done for me not only on the track but in my life, both personally and spiritually. I think what brought this team to bring home a national title is the love and passion we all share with each other and being so supportive of one another. I can’t imagine a better freshman year!

Sara Turner | Women’s 4x100M National Champion and All-American; Women’s Team National Champion

My reaction to winning the title was unbelief at first then just pure joy and excitement. Being a part of the third national title-winning team still seems unreal to me. It will randomly hit me at moments and I just feel it’s just such an honor to have been a part of the team this year with all of the girls. They all are such a blessing in my life and I love them all so much.

Annie Wright | National Runner-up and All-American, Women’s Heptathlon; Women’s Team National Champion

The goal every year is just to qualify for nationals. We all went into those three days with an attitude to have as much fun as we could and to do our best. After getting a third-place team trophy in the indoor season in 2017, it was always a dream that we have had. Like a, “hey, wouldn’t it be awesome if we won the national title,” not really thinking it would ever be a reality. I’m just so proud of my entire team for what they accomplished at the meet.  Every person contributed to the overall score and we couldn’t have done it without each other. The love and support I get from all of them on a daily basis is unreal.  These are my girls that I can always count on and go to for anything. George Fox track and field is special a program and I’m thankful to God every day that I get to be part of it.

See photos from the National Championship > > >