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Area college athletes qualify for nationals

Published: Thursday, May 22, 2014 3:13 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, May 22, 2014 3:28 a.m. CDT
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Kierra Smith

Two former Creston girls track and field athletes and one former Orient-Macksburg standout have all qualified for their national track meets.

Augustana College (Ill.) senior Kierra Smith of Creston, an NCAA Division III All-American last year in the 400 hurdles, will make her return to the NCAA Division III National Outdoor Track and Field Championships hosted by Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio, today through Saturday.

Smith finished seventh in the 400 hurdles at least year’s meet.

She enters this year’s outdoor championships with a season best time of 1:01.94, just off her personal and school record time of 1:01.56. She qualified to nationals in 15th place.

Northwest Missouri State University sophomore Audrey Bolinger of Creston will represent the Bearcats at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships hosted by Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich., today through Saturday.

Bolinger will run on the Bearcats’ 4x400 relay team, joined by Ashton Nibert, Alexis Boyd and Haley Manning. The Bearcats own a season best time of 3:45.32.

Also competing at the NCAA Division III National Outdoor Track and Field Championships will be Buena Vista junior Casey James of Lenox.

James, who competed for Orient-Macksburg in high school, will run on the 4x100 relay for Buena Vista, along with with Maggie Marker, Laura Everly and Kati Larson.

Buena Vista qualified 12th in the nation with its time of 47.71. Prelims begin today with finals on Friday.

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