Collier Earns All-American Honors, Darnbrough Completes Marathon

Submitted by: Kaci Mexico - May 28th, 2016


Kayla Darnbrough (Photo by Kaci Mexico)

Kayla Darnbrough (Photo by Kaci Mexico)

By Kaci Mexico
May 28, 2016

On the final day of the of the 2016 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships Kayla Darnbrough finished 13th in the marathon and Becky Collier earned her second All-American honors of the meet when she placed third in high jump.

After two long days competing in the heptathlon, Collier found success in the high jump and placed third with a jump of 1.74m. Collier, who recently finished her junior year, now has earned a total of ten All-American honors in her three-year career on the Westmont Track and Field team.

At 6:00 a.m. this morning, junior Kayla Darnbrough embarked upon her first ever marathon. After 26.2 miles of running, Darnbrough finished 13th in a time of 3:34:50.

“My main goal was to just finish,” said Darnbrough. “I have never done a marathon before so I just wanted to go out there and have fun. I was obviously nervous but a lot of the nerves were also excitement because this was my first time being at nationals and first time running the marathon so I didn’t know what to expect.

Darnbrough reflected on how she felt and how she motivated herself at different points in the race.

“Halfway through I started to realize how much my legs hurt. Up until that point, it was really fun because I was running with a group of girls and we were able to talk a bit and that helped the time pass by. After the first 13 miles, I started feeling some of the pain and began to realize that this will be a long haul.

“Around mile eighteen I decided that I was finishing no matter what, and that mind switch is what helped me moving forward.

“At five miles left all I could think about was finishing,” continued Darnbrough. “I was basically counting every step. At about mile 23, I started realizing how long the miles were dragging on and I started to feel like I was running two miles for every mile I was running. I actually started talking out loud to myself towards the end. I kept saying ‘One foot in front of the other’ and I gave myself a couple little stretch breaks to recollect myself. Also, seeing all of my teammates along the way helped a lot – they spread themselves out to cheer me on at each point.

“I am very excited that I did it and I can now say that I have finished my first marathon at track nationals and it is a really great feeling to be able to say that,” concluded Darnbrough.

Overall, Westmont Men’s and Women’s Track and Field found success at the national championship meet – James Asselin, Becky Collier, Kristan Holding, and Madison Herrera each earned All-American honors; and Collier was a national champion in the heptathlon.