It would be easy for Ellie Logan to leave her collegiate athletic career a bitter woman.
So many times she has been on the national stage and so many times she has come so close to glory.
It was no different Saturday at the NCAA Division II National Track and Field Championships in Kingsville, Texas.
She was just two throwers away from winning the javelin title, but a competitor knocked her out of the top spot and Logan couldn’t recover.
And while the Northwest Nazarene senior certainly had anguish and sadness when it was all said and done, she was far from bitter.
“I try to have the perspective that it is a blessing to be in that position to be so close all the time,” she said. “There are a lot of people who would give a lot just to get that opportunity. So, to be able to come and get second and have a good series of throws is good. I’m happy with it.”
Logan nearly led wire-to-wire. On her first throw, she came just four inches shy of her own school record, taking over first place with a mark of 165 feet, 2 inches. She followed that up with another mark over 50 meters on her third attempt.
Going into the finals she was the only competitor over 50 meters. In fact, she was the only thrower to hit that mark until Missouri Southern’s Morgan Ash won the competition on her final throw with a mark of 168-8 (51.41 meters).
“It is such an individual sport that I can only compete against myself,” she said. “You have zero control over what others do.”
For Logan, it is the third time she has earned All-American status in her career. She finished eighth as a freshman and third as a junior. In basketball, she advanced to the national women’s basketball tournament twice, was named honorable mention All-American this season, won the GNAC tournament title this year and finished as the sixth-leading scorer in program history.
For her coaches Danny Bowman and Oscar Duncan, that was what made her just-miss Saturday even more painful.
“She is the type of kid that if you could keep them in your program for 20 years you would,” said Duncan, the NNU throws coach. “Knowing the path she has been on and that she was right on the doorstep right until the end makes it hard to say goodbye to a kid that has meant so much, not only to the track program but our institution. It makes it difficult.”
After Ash’s big throw, Logan still had one more shot to claim the title, but her final mark was 153-4.
“It was frustrating because I felt there were pieces I wasn’t putting together to get one further out there,” Logan said.
It was the second consecutive national meet that Logan had been bumped down a spot on a competitor’s final throw. She went from second to third a year ago. In fact, the winner had it happen to her at her conference meet. Ash didn’t win the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association title after a competitor bested her on the last attempt.
“I think the initial emotion was excitement,” said Bowman of the reaction after the event was over, “but yet knowing that there was more potentially there. We are very happy for how she did. Placing second is an amazing feat with that field.”
While Logan was never able to claim the top spot on the podium, she certainly leaves NNU as one of the most decorated athletes in the school history and the most athletic female athlete of all time, per Bowman.
“The main thing for me is gratitude for all the people who have invested time in me whether it was baseball or track or the training room,” Logan said. “A lot of people have given little pieces of their time for me to be successful. I have gratitude for that and the relationships I’ve built.”
Jake Knight, meanwhile, who took fifth in the discus on Friday, placed 17th in the shot put Saturday, failing to qualify for the finals.
He threw 56-5.25, well short of his season best 60-0.25.
Knight plans to turn pro in the discus, his signature event.
TWO BRONCOS EARN TRIP TO NATIONALS: The Boise State track and field team was able to punch two tickets to the NCAA Track and Field National Championships late Friday in Sacramento, California.
Both Allie Ostrander and Kristie Schoffield will return to the national championship in their respective events, after qualifying for the national championship during the 2018 season.
In the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Ostrander was able to win the second heat of the national quarterfinal to secure one of the auto-qualifiers for the national championship. BYU’s Erica Birk ran a nation-leading mark in the first heat of the event, but Ostrander was able to regain her national mark in the second heat, winning in 9:40.05.
“It was great to get through the first round and advance to nationals,” Ostrander said. “Advancing through these races always brings out great performances. It was always the plan to run that race, and it’s great to look forward to the next round.”
Maxine Paholek (10:09.62) and Kyra Lopez (10:19.93) were unable to finish in the top 12 and advance to Austin, Texas for the national championship, but posted solid marks.
Schoffield had a career day in the 800m, running a lifetime best of 2:02.65 to punch her ticket to Austin. Racing in the final quarterfinal of the night, Schoffield used a late charge down the homestretch to finish second in her heat, while running the second-fastest time of the entire field.
Her time is a personal best by over a second, and is only 27-hundreths of a second off of the school record.
Making her first appearance at the NCAA West Preliminary Round, Dafni Georgiou took 42nd in the 100m hurdles. The freshman was seeded 48th in the event as the last individual in the field, but was able to out-perform her seed by six places, running 14.07.
ORR EARNS NATIONAL HONOR: Northwest Nazarene’s Kylie Orr was named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s All-American Third Team.
Orr, who graduated earlier this month, batted .386 with 12 doubles, five home runs and 32 RBIs as the Nighthawks softball team earned just its second playoff berth in program history, reaching the GNAC conference tournament.
Orr was selected as a designated player after starting most of the year in that spot because of a torn labrum in her shoulder made it so she couldn’t throw.