Two DWU athletes ready for indoor national championships

Tamika Irvin from DWU.

Tamika Irvin

Nicole Court-Menendez from DWU.

Nicole Court-Menendez

MITCHELL, S.D. – Two members of the Dakota Wesleyan University track and field team have one last indoor meet to compete in before the start of the 2013 outdoor season.

Senior Tamika Irvin and freshman Nicole Court-Menendez are headed to Geneva, Ohio, this week for the NAIA Indoor National Track and Field Championships. The national meet runs Thursday, Feb. 28, through Saturday, March 1, at the SPIRE Institute.

This is the first time qualifying for Court-Menendez, a Lewiston, Maine, native. She is set to compete in the 3,000-meter race walk. This is Irvin’s third consecutive trip to the indoor national tournament and sixth trip to nationals overall. She qualified this season in the 200-meter dash.

Irvin, who became the first athlete in school history to earn multiple All-American honors in the same meet at the 2012 NAIA Outdoor National Track and Field Championships in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, is in search of her first indoor All-American title at the last indoor championship of her career. The Denver, Colo., native enters the meet with the 16th best time in the NAIA at 25.39 seconds. She will compete in the semifinal race at 6:25 p.m. Friday, March 1. The finals for the 200 are at 2:40 p.m. Saturday, March 2. The top 200 time in the field is 23.92, run by Oklahoma Baptist’s Jura Levy.

Irvin is the school record holder in the indoor 200 with a time of 24.87 seconds, set last year at the national meet. She competed in the 60- and 200-meter dashes at last year’s indoor national meet and took 10th in the semifinals of the 200 but failed to qualify for the final race. As a sophomore in 2011, she competed in the 60, 1,600-meter relay and long jump at indoor nationals.

Court-Menendez qualified for her first-ever national meet with a record-setting performance in the 3,000-meter race walk. She has the sixth-best time in the field at 15:54.41 – the school record at Dakota Wesleyan. The top time in the field is 14:15.93, set by Mereth Zalba of Missouri Baptist. Court-Menendez will run at 12:25 p.m. on Friday, March 1.

For a complete schedule of events at the national meet or to find out about live streaming of each event, go to the NAIA website for more information at www.naia.org.