Nazareth long jumper Taylor Pierson ’16 placed 10th last March at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships at North Central College in Naperville, Ill.
Seeded 15th going in, Pierson leaped 5.30 meters (17 feet, 4-3/4 inches), slightly off her qualifying distance of 5.51 meters (18 feet, 1 inch) set March 1 at the ECAC meet in New York City. Melissa Norville of Illinois College won the competition with a leap of 6.01 meters (19 feet, 8-3/4 inches). The top eight finishers are considered All-Americans.
“Tenth place for a freshman is awesome,” says Nazareth Coach James Goss. “After competing this year, she’ll have a better understanding moving forward of what she’ll be getting into.”
Pierson, of Wellsburg, N.Y. and a graduate of Southside High School, enjoyed a sensational first season for the Golden Flyers by earning Empire 8, New York State, and
ECAC titles in the long jump and setting five school records. She also was honored as Empire 8 Conference Rookie of the Year.
Pierson is just the second Nazareth track and field athlete—and the first female—to qualify for the national meet. Nick Stenuf ’09 was an All-American in the 800-meter run in 2006 and 2008.