Kelly Lovett '11 (Portland, Ore.), the 2011 NCAA Division III National Champion in the Javelin
DELAWARE, Ohio––The pantheon of Carleton College women’s track and field greats welcomed a new member into its club, as Kelly Lovett (Sr./Portland, Ore./Lincoln) captured the national title in the javelin throw at the NCAA Division III Women’s Track and Field Championships on Saturday.
The senior, making her third straight national meet appearance, controlled the event from the drop. She popped off a personal-best throw of 46.10 meters on her first throw, and followed with a 47.03-meter effort. Those two throws ranked as the top two in the competition until the All-America stepped to the line for her final attempt, unleashing a 47.36-meter toss, capping off the competition and her career with a flair. Her final distance, equal to 155’5.75”, won the event by more than four meters.
Lovett is only the fourth Carleton female track and field athlete to win a national outdoor title, as she joins Knight greats Anna (Prineas) Catanese '89 (5,000 and 10,000 meters in 1989), Aminah (Ricks) Cuzzi '94 (100 meters in 1994) and Sandra Helquist '00 (400-meter hurdles in 1999) as national-title winners. She's the 14th Carleton female student-athlete to win an individual national title and the first since Carleton individual national champion, male or female, since 2005.
“I just felt really good and very confident going into the meet,” Lovett said afterwards. “My friends and teammates really helped inspire me.”
Head coach Donna Ricks said Lovett was locked in from the get-go. “She set the tempo right away,” Ricks said. “The whole field saw it and really pressed and that just doesn’t work when you need your best performance to win. Kelly stayed calm and relaxed and I’m just so proud and happy for her.”
Lovett said that a couple of top qualifiers dropped out of the competition, which disappointed her, but she knew she had a great chance at a national title. “After my first throw, I really relaxed. To get a PR on that first throw really made a big difference.”
"Kelly is easy to describe,” Bill Huyck, her event coach in the javelin, added. “She’s smart, knows her event and herself well, competes well, especially in big meets, and has made steady progress in her event. She’s really self-coached, works hard, and is totally unselfish––a low-maintenance champion.”
“I’m sad to be done competing for Carleton, but I’m certainly happy to go out on top,” Lovett said. “I’m looking forward to finding some way to continue throwing the javelin and playing volleyball.”
One for the other thumb for Childs-Walker
It’s not often that a student-athlete gunning for a 10th All-America award isn’t the headline, but that’s exactly what happened to Simone Childs-Walker (Jr./Seattle/Lakeside) in the 5,000 meters after Lovett took the title about three hours earlier.
A two-time All-America entering the event, Childs-Walker used her standard strategy. She hung back in the second pack, allowing 10,000-meter champion Jennifer Gossels of Williams, relatively unknown sophomore Annie Lydens of Pomona-Pitzer and North Central (Ill.) senior Amanda Laesch to set the early pace. Gossels controlled much of the race, keeping the pace relatively slow. That allowed Childs-Walker to make a move about two-thirds of the way through, as she and Franklin (Ind.) senior Heather Waterman, along with Oberlin senior Joanna Johnson, pulled into the lead group.
Over the final 1,000 or so meters, though, the original lead group of Gossels, Lydens, and Laesch pulled away from the field, with Gossels chasing down Lydens down the home stretch to claim the title. Waterman nipped Childs-Walker at the tape, as the Knight standout finished fifth in 17:19.66. The time was well off her season best of 17:10.02 but just shy of her MIAC winning time of 17:18.75.
Still, it’s hard to be disappointed for a student-athlete who has built one of the most successful careers ever in the maize and blue. Her 10 All-America awards makes her the second-most decorated Knight on the women’s side in school history.
Carleton College Women to Earn 4+ All-America Awards
|11||Marie Marsman ’04||swimming & diving|
|10||Simone Childs-Walker ’12||cross country, indoor/outdoor track and field|
||Aminah Ricks ’94||indoor/outdoor track and field|
|8||Anna Prineas ’89||cross country, indoor/outdoor track and field|
|7||Jenny Grover ’06||swimming & diving|
|6||Emily Mondloh ’05||swimming & diving|
|5||Sandra Helquist ’00||indoor/outdoor track and field|
|5||Andrea Barbera ’05||swimming & diving|
|4||Kim Gillen ’85||swimming & diving|
|4||Angie Soucek ’02||swimming & diving|
|4||Kale Zicafoose '11||swimming & diving|
Childs-Walker NCAA Championship Appearances
|2008||61st of 219 runners|
|2009||11th of 279 runners (All-America)|
|2010||101st of 279 runners|
|2009||third in 5,000m (All-America)|
|2010||third in 5,000m (All-America)|
|2011||third in 5,000m (All-America), 15th in mile|
|2009||third in 5,000m (All-America), eighth in 10,000m (All-America)|
|2010||third in 10,000m (All-America), fourth in 5,000m (All-America)|
|2011||fourth in 10,000m (All-America), fifth in 5,000m (All-America)|
Duo's efforts allow Knights to end 10th
Lovett’s and Childs-Walker’s performances allowed the Knights to score 19 team points and finish 10th in the nation. They were the top-finishing school from the MIAC, as Gustavus finished T13th (14 points), Augsburg T52nd (4 points), Hamline T60th (3 points), and St. Thomas T65th (2 points).
Thursday Recap: Nine Is Fine For Childs-Walker
DELAWARE, Ohio – Eight just isn’t enough. Not for Simone Childs-Walker (Seattle, Wash./Lakeside).
The Carleton College junior earned her ninth career All-America honor by placing fourth in the 10,000-meter run on Thursday night at the 2011 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships. She crossed the line at 35:32.57, a full minute better than her conference championship winning time from two weeks ago and just three seconds off her personal best established at the Drake Relays in April. Childs-Walker—who also has 13 MIAC titles to her credit—becomes just the third woman in school history to earn at least nine All-America distinctions (see chart below). She joins Aminah Ricks ’94 as the most decorated women in Carleton track and field history and has a chance to take the top spot on that list when she competes in the 5,000-meter run, a distance she has finished fourth or better at her five previous NCAA Championships (see chart at bottom of page). continued below
Tonight's 10,000-meter field included 22 racers, and early on the runners separated into two packs. Childs-Walker positioned herself in the second group and a couple of miles into the race she ran two quicker laps in an attempt to catch the front cluster but she decided those runners were circling George Gauthier track at Ohio Wesleyan at a pace not to her liking. The veteran settled back and elected to run at the front of the second pack and utilize her typical race strategy of running from the back and finishing strong. The plan worked as the front group eventually broke apart, allowing Childs-Walker and North Central’s Amanda Laesch to begin picking off runners one by one. Laesch completed a stronger finishing kick over the last 300 meters to take third place. Williams College sophomore Jennifer Gossels became the seventh different woman to win the event in as many years as she stopped the clock at 35:11.76. Second place went to St. Lawrence’s Wendy Pavlus, who was the national champ in the 5,000-meter run at this year’s national indoor meet. “Simone was so strong. She ran a great race. ” said Carleton Head Coach Donna Ricks. “Nine-time All-American. Wow. What more can you say?”