ROCKFORD, Ill. - Rockford University freshman thrower Kaylynne Terry (Streator, Ill.) added yet another outstanding achievement to an already amazing season on Saturday when she officially qualified for the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championship. Terry becomes the first Regent known to qualify for Nationals since Rockford transitioned from NAIA to NCAA in the 1980s. She finished the season tied for the ninth farthest throw in NCAA Division III at 13.98 meters. Terry is currently right on the edge of earning All-America status, as the top eight finishers at the NCAA Outdoor Championships are named All-Americans.
"For me, qualifying for Nationals means that all the hard work that I have put in is finally paying off," Terry commented. "However, I feel that I am just beginning to scratch the surface of what I can accomplish, and I know I will continue to grow and improve in the coming years. Some of the top athletes from across the country will be at the NCAA Championships next week, and I am looking forward to the challenge of competing against them. I am going to go there and give it my all, so that at the end of the day, both my family and school are proud of what I have accomplished."
"I am really excited for Kaylynne, as she has put in a lot of hard work this season and was able to achieve her goal of qualifying for Nationals," Head Coach Morgan Goetschel stated. "I am looking forward to seeing what she is able to accomplish not only next week, but in the future as well. I am also very excited for what this means for the Rockford University track and field program. Kaylynne's accomplishment is a testament to all the hard work that both the student-athletes and coaching staff have put in the past few years to get this program heading in the right direction.
Terry took the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference by storm in her first year as a collegiate athlete. In her first collegiate meet, Terry won the shot put at the NACC Indoor Championship and tied the NACC Championship Record with a throw of 13.30 meters. With the win, she also became Rockford's first ever female NACC Indoor Champion. Terry then continued her record-breaking season with another amazing performance at the NACC Outdoor Championship. Terry again won the shot put and shattered both the NACC Overall Record and NACC Championship Record with a throw of 13.98 meters. She is now the first ever RU female to win the same event at both the NACC Indoor and Outdoor Championships in the same year.
"This track season has been a blessing for me because I have overcome so many different obstacles that have come my way," Terry said. "Those obstacles have made me into both the person and student-athlete that I am today. With the constant support of my coaches and my family, I hope to continue my career as a thrower and achieve new heights in the future."
"This is a special opportunity for both Kaylynne and the track and field program, and we are going to enjoy this experience and everything else the NCAA Championship has to offer," Coach Goetschel remarked. "However this is only the beginning, as I expect great things in the future, not only from Kaylynne, but the rest of the program as well."
Terry now has her sights set on the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which begin on Thursday, May 24 in La Crosse, Wisconsin. However, Terry will have to wait an additional day to compete, as the women's shot put event is scheduled to begin at 1 PM on Friday, May 25 at UW-La Crosse.
To view the official release from the NCAA and the complete list of qualifiers, please click here.
To view the entire schedule of events for the 2018 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championship, please click here.