Arellano in third at NAIA national heptathlon
University of Jamestown's Kaiann Arellano tossed two "so-so" shot put attempts Thursday at the NAIA women's national heptathlon in Gulf Shores, Ala.
Then came the lightning and the thunder.
"She got in two of her three throws, there was a flash of lightning, a big 'boom' and we all thought maybe it was a good time to delay things," said University of Jamestown head track and field coach Megan Kuehl. "We sat in the car for about 45 minutes and all the multi-event girls came back to warm up with a flood covering the shot put ring."
The Alabama thunderstorm put a charge in Arellano. The Jimmies' five-time All-American cleared 10 meters in the shot put for just the second time in her career with her third and final throw (10.10 meters), and wrapped up day 1 of the heptathlon with a personal best in the 200.
Arellano shaved over a half-second off her previous top 200-meter race, placing fifth in 26.04 seconds. The Jamestown senior currently sits third of 16 women in the heptathlon with 2,906 points.
A top-eight finish will earn Arellano a sixth All-American honor. The event wraps up tomorrow with the long jump, javelin and 800 meters at Mickey Miller Blackwell Stadium.
"I'm on a high right now," said Arellano, who wound up eighth in the shot put. "I thought it was so hilarious we had to throw out of a pool.
"Just have fun with it and accept there's nothing you can do about it."
Arellano's all-American attitude arguably matches, or exceeds, any honor she's ever been awarded. The former Jamestown Blue Jay gymnast and distance runner began the day with a fifth-place run in the 100 hurdles (14.92) and a third-place effort in the high jump (1.59).
Arellano is 321 points behind heptathlon leader Chelsea Baker, of Friends University (Kan.) and 198 markers behind Tyanna Petty, of University of Rio Grande (Ohio), for second.
"Kaiann had a blast today," Kuehl said. "She knows this is her last time at nationals. She's putting it all out there and having fun competing."
Day 2 of the heptathlon begins Friday at 10:30 a.m. with the long jump. Arellano placed eighth in the heptathlon at last year's national championships.
"The coaches really want me to be more aggressive with the long jump," Arellano said. "I'm just going to go all out and not fear scratching.
"I'm pretty much going to put it all out there tomorrow and whatever happens, happens."
University of Jamestown sophomore Julia Johnson will also compete in the women's triple jump Friday, while the Jimmies' 4x400 relay team of Arellano, Kylee Voigt, Emily Stier and Hannah Christenson will hit the track for prelims.
Arellano will compete in the women's high jump on Saturday, the same day Jamestown's Matt Young, Amber Posner and Allison Foster will compete in the national marathon events.
NAIA Women's National Track & Field Championships
At Gulf Shores, Ala.
(Through 4 of 7 Events)
1. Chelsea Baker, Friends (Kan.), 3227; 2. Tyanna Petty, Rio Grande (Ohio), 3104; 3. Kaiann Arellano, Jamestown, 2906; 4. Aurora Arevalo, Morningside (Iowa), 2853; 5. Maddie Minnaert, Benedictine (Kan.), 2815; 6. Madison Herrera, Westmont (Calif.), 2808; 7. Bethay Lacock, Carroll (Mont.), 2742; 8. Megan Van Harn, William Woods (Mo.), 2730; 9. Morgan Luedy, Cornerstone (Mich.), 2717; 10. Lorna Bechtel, Indiana Wesleyan, 2675; 11. Leah Banks, Loyola-New Orleans, 2601; 12. Vendela Williams, William Jessup (Calif.), 2588; 13. Joscelyn Wind, Dordt (Iowa), 2586; 14. Jessica Deterding, Concordia (Neb.), 2542; 15. Kennedy Mogul, Concordia (Neb.), 2447; 16. Loghan Sprauer, Southern Oregon, 2363.
Winners / Arellano's results
100 hurdles: 1. Baker 14.40; 5. Arellano 14.92.
High jump: 1. Baker 1.77; 3. Arellano 1.59 (5 feet, 2 1/2 inches).
Shot put: 1. Van Harn 12.36; 8. Arellano 10.10 (33 feet, 1 1/2 inches).
200: 1. Herrera 25.09; 7. Arellano 26.04.