Women’s track makes history claiming first indoor title

The Minnesota State women’s indoor track and field team captured their first national championship this past weekend at Pittsburg State University. Just a year ago the Mavericks finished second place at the NCAA Championships, redeeming themselves this year with a 58-point finish. 

“The reason I came to MSU five years ago was the ability here at Mankato to win national titles,” said head coach Michael Turgeon. The coach now adds his first indoor national championship seeing his “five-year plan turn into fruition seeing the women win a national title.”

The Mavs bring home nine individual All-American honors and three national championships to Mankato. The three individual titles were split two and one between Makayla Jackson and Denisha Cartwright. 

Jackson, a sophomore from Milwaukee, Wis., became the NCAA Division II 60 meter dash National Champion with a career best time of 7.34, beating out her previous school record of 7.41 that she set in 2020. With the win, Jackson became the first ever Mavericks runner to claim the national title in the 60 meter dash, and added on All-American honors for her top place finish. 

Jackson also won the individual National Championship in the long jump for Minnesota State, leaping for 20’ 4.25” in the event to claim her second title at the Championships and third All-American honor after placing sixth in the 200 meter dash. With her winning jump, Jackson set another personal and school record.

Cartwright, a sophomore from Nassau, Bahamas, became the 60 meter hurdles National Champion, hurdling with a time of 8.39. Cartwright clinched the second national title from a Maverick in the 60 meter hurdles with her win, while also claiming All-American honors. 

Cartwright follows Altoniece Williams as the only other MSU athlete to claim the national title in the 60 meter dash, with Williams claiming her title with a time of 8.37 back in 2017. 

The sophomore also competed and earned All-American honors in the 60 meter dash after placing eighth in the event with a time of 7.50. 

Turgeon commented on the success of his two national champion runners saying, “their ability to compete and be consistent in and out every day” sets themselves apart from other competitors across the nation. 

“Her very first jump was her personal best… Jackson set the lead for the meet, as soon as you do that it really shuts the competition down. Everybody starts chasing you, you don’t have to chase the competition,” explained Turgeon. “She was the first event to go that day, it really spring-boarded the rest of us and took the pressure off everybody to help them go out and compete.” 

Junior jumper Flore Gracia, senior thrower Brea Parron, senior trower Katie Taylor, and the 4×400 meter relay team consisting of Rose Gaye, Rose Cramer, Cartwright, and Sherona Stewart helped earn points towards the National Championship as well. 

The MSU men’s indoor track and field team finished sixth at their Championships, earning 27 points on their way to their top-10 finish. Six individual Mavericks earned All-American honors at the meet, helping mark the 11th time in team history the Mavs finished inside the top-10. 

Minnesota State’s best finishes all came in third place, where junior Nicholas Hudson, senior Deveyonn Brown, and sophomore Tanner Maier claimed All-American honors in their respective events. 

Hudson finished with a weight throw of 68’ 3.25”, Brown finished with a high jump height of 7’ 0.25”, and Maier finished with a 1:50.57 800 meter dash time to claim their third place finishes.

Header Photo: Women’s track placed first at the 2022 NCAA Indoor Championship while claiming three additional individual titles and nine All-American honors. (Maverick Athletics)

Write to Kole Buelow at kole.buelow@mnsu.edu.

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