Collier Earns National Championship; Holding, Collier, and Asselin Earn All-American Honors

Submitted by: Kaci Mexico - May 27th, 2016


Becky Collier: National Champion in the heptathlon (Photo by Kaci Mexico)

Becky Collier: National Champion in the heptathlon (Photo by Kaci Mexico)

By Kaci Mexico
May 27, 2016

On day two of the 2016 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships, Becky Collier became the fourteenth all-time Westmont Track and Field athlete to win an individual championship when she placed first in the heptathlon; senior Kristan Holding finished her track career on a high note with a sixth place finish in the heptathlon; and senior James Asselin clinched an eighth place finish in the decathlon to end his final season with a bang. Collier, Holding, and Asselin each earned All-American honors for their performances.

Today, Becky Collier not only became a three-time All-American in the outdoor heptathlon, she became a national champion when she finished in first place with 4,908 points.

Yesterday after the first four events of the heptathlon, Collier was in first place with 3,006 points. Today, after competing in long jump, javelin, and the 800 meter race, she maintained her first place standing. In long jump, Collier finished fifth with a mark of 5.15m (16-10.75); in javelin, she finished seventh with a mark of 32.79m (107-7.25); and in the 800 meter race, she finished sixth with a time of 2:23.91.

Collier shared the mindset she had throughout the competition.

“This may seem a little bit cheesy, but my competition number was 612 and my life verse is Judges 6:12 which is, “The lord is with you mighty warrior”. So when I first found out my competition number I thought, ‘Yes! I am going to fight for this – I want to win and that is my goal.’ That is what I was thinking about the whole competition.”

Collier continued with a reflection on her performance over the course of the seven events.

“I felt really happy with day one. Starting with a PR in hurdles was huge for me. It was really exciting especially because Kristan also got a PR and we both of had a goal to be under 15 seconds since I was a freshman – so that race was definitely the highlight.

“High jump was great – I finished just under my PR,” continued Collier. “Shot put and the 200 meter race were average, which is just what I needed. Today, the long jump and javelin weren’t great, but they were average, which was enough. Then in the 800, I felt like I left it all out on the track. So overall, it wasn’t a PR score but I am really happy with it.

“I have wanted this for a while so it feels really good,” concluded Collier. “I am just trying to soak it all in, enjoy it, and get ready for high jump tomorrow.”

Kristan Holding received her first All-American honors in the outdoor heptathlon when she finished in sixth place with a personal record of 4,697 points. In long jump, Holding finished eighth with a mark of 5.12m (16-9.75); in javelin, she finished fifth with a mark of 33.70m (110-7); and in the 800 meter race, she finished tenth with a time of 2:33.10.

Holding reflected on her mentality throughout the competition.

“I went out yesterday and I stood at the start line of the hurdles and said ‘I am going to PR’ – and then I said that before every single event after that. I did a lifetime best in my first three events (100m hurdles, high jump, and shot put) and had a good last event yesterday as well. Then today I came out here with nothing to lose and put it all on the line. Some events didn’t go well today, but I just had to push through it. It was so fun to compete knowing it was my last time ever out on the track after 18 years.”

Asselin was the 15th out of 16 athletes to qualify to compete in the decathlon at nationals. Yesterday, Asselin finished the first five events of the decathlon in 13th place with 3,169 points. Today he earned a personal record and All-American honors when he finished in eighth place with 6,386 points after competing in the final five events – 110 meter hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, and the 1500 meter race.

In the 110 meter hurdles, Asselin finished 13th with a time of 16.15 seconds; in discus he finished fourth with a mark of 37.66m (123-7); he finished eighth in pole vault with new personal record of 3.95m (12-11.5); in javelin he placed fourth with a mark of 48.91m (160-5.75); and Asselin finished strong with a 4:35.53 third place finish in the 1500 meter race.

Additionally, in the trials of the 4×400 meter relay, Madison Herrerea, Ceci Adams, Taryn Phipps, and Karlie Storkson finished 16th with a time of 3:56.79 – the relay team did not advance to finals.

Tomorrow morning, Kayla Darnbrough will compete in the Marathon at 6:00 a.m. (CDT) and Collier will compete in high jump at 2:00 p.m. These will be the Warriors’ final two events of the National Championship.