XULA Track athletes heading to NAIA in May

By Karrington Stewart

After competing in March, XULA added four new athletes to the NAIA national qualifying list to be able
to automatically compete at the NAIA Championship meet that is being held in San Antonio, Texas at the end of May.

With most athletes the closer they get to the end of the season their body starts to break down, causing more injuries to rise after competing each week. Now the question is will XULA track and field athletes be able to stay healthy and have a top performance, despite adversity hitting them every day?

“I am proud that I qualified for Nationals, but after my first race I was a little disappointed with the time that I ran,” said Jada McBean, a junior athlete at Xavier. Jada opened up this track season with a time of 12.29 in the 100-meter dash and competed in the finals, finishing with a time of 11.99.

“After rolling my ankle a couple weeks ago I have been trying to rehabilitate it so that I can perform to
the best of my ability for every race,” McBean said. Not only did she qualify for Nationals in the open 100, but she was a part of the XULA women’s 4×100 team that made the A-qualifying time of 47.1 seconds.

“Due to the amount of stress track athletes put on our bodies I make sure to take extra precautions
from eating to stretching daily, to avoid as many injuries as possible,” McBean said.

Kynnedy Turner was also a part of the qualifying 4×100 relay that competed this weekend.

“Despite having ankle problems, I have been excited to compete for every meet,” said Turner after her

After being disappointed about not making it to finals for the open 100-meter race, she used that
disappointment to her advantage to run an amazing time of 25.37 in the 200-meter dash.

“As a track athlete you have to push your body past your limit daily in order to grow and reach the level of success that you wish to reach,” Turner said. “Sometimes that means even running while injured,” Turner added.

“I was shocked, honestly,” Turner said. “I haven’t gotten a stadium record since I was really young, so it was definitely surprising to me. After the initial shock, however, it made me feel really good,” Turner added.

Emerald Carter broke the Prairie View stadium record for 100-meter hurdles, making a personal record in the long jump, and also being one of the legs in the 4×100 meter relay that had an A-qualifying time for Nationals.

“I set goals for myself every meet and based on how things have gone in the past, I typically perform
better each meet,” Carter said. “My biggest difficulty this season was definitely falling in the finals at
indoor nationals and ultimately being disqualified.”

Student-athletes face many challenges with having to balance the classroom and being physical,
mentally, and emotionally prepared for their respective sport. Xavier track athletes are leading by
example showing how to not let adversity stop you and your goals.

“I had to realize that God has something bigger in store for me, and that I shouldn’t let a small setback,
cloud my judgment about who I am and the athlete I am,” Carter said.

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