Auburn's Joanna Atkins Earns All-American Honors In The 400 Meters
March 14, 2009
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Auburn track and field team added one more All-American honor to its collection on Saturday during the final day of the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. Sophomore Joanna Atkins finished fourth in the women's 400 meters as the Tigers left College Station with five individuals earning All-American honors during the two-day meet.
The Tigers had athletes competing in just two events on Saturday. In addition to Atkins' finish in the 400 meters, she also anchored the 4x400-meter relay team to a 13th-place finish.
Atkins matched the highest finish ever for an Auburn woman in the 400 meters at the NCAA Indoor meet. She clocked a time of 53.12 in the finals, bettering her mark from the prelims of 53.67. It was just slightly off her season best of 52.61 set two weeks ago while winning the SEC indoor title.
"I'm pretty satisfied," said Atkins. "I wanted to run faster but on this track it wasn't happening. I thought I ran a good race for this track. The curves are tight and it's easy to get out of your lane. I learned from the prelims and I'm pretty happy with my race."
The 4x400-meter relay team left disappointed after entering the meet ranked seventh in the nation. The team of freshman CeCe Williams, sophomore Cache Armbrister, junior Danielle Gilchrist and Atkins finished with a time of 3:40.29, which was well off the Tigers' time of 3:35.50 set at the SEC Indoor Championships.
"It was a tough indoor season," said head coach Ralph Spry. "We had a lot of highs and lows. We came here with some quality athletes and five of them earned All-American honors, so from that standpoint I feel like we're leaving here on a good note."
The Auburn women finished the meet in tied for 41st place with five points, while the men also tied for 41st with three points. Oregon won the men's team title and Tennessee took home the women's crown.
The Tigers will take next weekend off before opening the outdoor season March 27-28 at the Yellow Jacket Invitational in Atlanta.
"The way our team is constructed we're more of an outdoor team, but we fought through the indoor season and the big thing is that everybody is still healthy and ready to go," said Spry. "I'm happy with how we competed here based on what we brought in. It's not as much fun when you're not in the top 10 or top 15 but I think we could be in that bracket during the outdoor season.
Auburn 2009 Indoor All-Americans
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