Atwater Becomes UD's First-Ever Women's IIAC MVP at IIAC Championships
May 14, 2016
Tanasha Atwater earned her first IIAC MVP (Field) award on Saturday along with her teammate Blaze Murfin, who garnered his first MVP (Field) award for the men in the 2016 IIAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships held May 12-14.
WAVERLY, Iowa – Sophomore thrower Tanasha Atwater won the shot put and placed second in the hammer throw en route to being named UD first-ever Iowa Conference Field MVP as the University of Dubuque women’s track and field team placed third at the Iowa Conference Outdoor Championships. Overall, the Spartan women had three champions and nine All-IIAC performers.
The Spartans crushed their previous school records of fifth and 103.25 points, respectively, with their third-place showing and 124 points. Wartburg took home their 17th straight title and cleared the field by over 100 points with their 243 point total. The Spartan women dropped one position after a second-place showing through day two.
With their three overall IIAC champions and nine All-IIAC performers, the Spartans have tallied at least nine All-IIAC performers for the third season in a row with a school record of 13 in 2014.
Atwater's Field MVP award was UD's first-ever IIAC MVP award of any kind thanks to her victory in the shot put (12.92m/42-4.75) and a runner-up showing in the hammer throw (49.17m/161-4). The sophomore led a throwing contingent that combined for five All-IIAC performances and 46 points, good for 37 percent of their overall total.
Also a native of Davenport, Iowa like Atwater, freshman Isabella Solis won her first career IIAC title in the 400m hurdles with a school record time of 1:04.35 after edging out former UD record holder and Buena Vista transfer, Sybbie Sears, by 0.06 seconds. Solis also placed second in the high jump (1.59m/5-2.5).
Other standout performances included Fabiola Ortiz defending her 3000m Steeplechase title in a near photo finish thanks to a school record time of 11:01.63 and a fourth-place showing in the 1500m (4:49.09).
The 4x100m relay team of Brittany Burks, Candace Enis, MichelleAnn Sanchez, and Amanda Zbilski (49.58) placed runner-up along with freshman Aleyha Slatter in the triple jump (10.53m/34-6.75).
Senior thrower Nicole Forson secured her fourth career All-IIAC honor with a third-place showing behind Atwater in the hammer throw (48.86m/160-4).
Sophomore Abigail Willis finished All-IIAC in the discus in third (42.55m/139-7) and placed eighth in the javelin (31.96m/104-10).
Atwater, who leads the nation in the shot put and sits 11th in hammer throw, will lead the Spartans into a pair of Last Chance National qualifying meets this Thursday and Friday, May 19-20, at UW-La Crosse and North Central, respectively. The Division III National Outdoor Championships will be hosted by Wartburg College on May 26-28 in Waverly, Iowa..
Top UD Finishers (All-IIAC)
100m – 6th Enis (12.50)
200m – None
400m – None
800m – None
1500m – 4th Ortiz (4:49.09)
5000m – None
10000m run – None
100m Hurdles – 4th Burks (14.94)
400m Hurdles – 1st Solis (1:04.35)
3000m Steeplechase – 1st Ortiz (11:01.63)
4x100m – 2nd Burks, Enis, Sanchez, Zbilski (49.58)
4x400m – 7th Pagel, Zbilski, Draeger, Ortiz (4:11.37)
4x800m – 7th Wenthold, Kinateder, Draeger, Mackenburg (2:42.65)
HJ – 2nd Solis (1.59m/5-2.5)
LJ – 15th Cole (4.37m/14-4)
TJ – 2nd Slatter (10.53m/34-6.75)
SP – 1st Atwater (12.92m/42-4.75)
Discus – 3rd Willis (42.55m/139-7)
HT – 2nd Atwater (49.17m/161-4), 3rd Forson (48.86m/160-4)
Javelin – 8th Willis (31.96m/104-10)
Heptathlon – None
Women Team Scores (22 Events)
4) Central College-120
6) Buena Vista-60