Court-Menendez makes history at national meet

Nicole Court-Menendez from DWU.

Nicole Court-Menendez

Tamika Irvin from DWU.

Tamika Irvin

GENEVA, Ohio – Dakota Wesleyan University freshman Nicole Court-Menendez made history Friday afternoon at the NAIA Indoor National Championships in Geneva, Ohio.

The freshman from Lewistown, Maine, became the first female indoor All-American in Dakota Wesleyan track and field history with an eighth-place finish in the 3,000-meter racewalk. Court Menendez’s historic race comes less than a year after teammate Tamika Irvin became the school’s first-ever female track All-American at the 2012 outdoor national championships.

Court-Menendez – who was competing at her first-ever national meet – completed Friday’s race in 16:06.32. She finished in eighth place and earned one point for the Tigers. Embry-Riddle’s Nicole Bonk won the event and set a new meet record in 13:53.63. Court-Menendez set the school record in the racewalk in 15:54.41 earlier this season.

Irvin also competed Friday afternoon in the preliminaries of the 200-meter dash. Irvin, who earned All-American status in the 100- and 200-meter dashes at last year’s outdoor national championships, did not qualify for Saturday’s 200-meter dash finals. She took 13th in the prelims in 25 seconds. Indiana tech’s Adella King and Oklahoma Baptist’s Jura Levy both ran the race in 23.58 seconds and are seeded first and second, respectively, heading into the finals.

Friday marked the final race of the indoor season for both athletes, and the final collegiate indoor race of Irvin’s career. The senior from Denver, Colo., graduates in May. The Tigers start the 2013 outdoor season March 29-30 at the Wayne State Invite in Wayne, Neb.