Eggleston makes another run at nationals


Courtesy of Central Athletics

Senior Dani Eggleston (#179) will look to keep pace with the top runners in the NCAA Division II this Friday in Kansas.

Samuel Beaumonte, Staff Reporter

Despite beating the school record for the 3k run twice this year, senior Dani Eggleston has her eyes set on one thing: nationals.

Earlier this year, Eggleston broke the 3k record that was previously held by Alicen Mayer, and in the Seattle Pacific University (SPU) Last Chance meet on Feb. 27, she broke her own record by 10 seconds.

“My time was only meant to get me to nationals; I don’t care about beating my own record,” Eggleston said.

Eggleston heads into nationals ranked 13th in the 3k, with a time of 9:39.67.

“We were hoping to get a little faster at the conference meet a few weeks back, but she had just run the distance medley relay,” head coach Kevin Adkisson said.

In the distance medley, Eggleston ran the mile and helped her team beat another school record in the GNAC Championship.

“We don’t have anyone that runs the mile, so my coach put me in there for speed work,” Eggleston said. “It was fun and it felt nice to do something faster and shorter.”

At the SPU Last Chance meet, Eggleston was able to focus on the 3k more and had some friendly competition from St. Martin’s to help keep her motivated.

“There’s another runner from St. Martin’s that I’m good friends with from high school,” Eggleston said. “We talked about qualifying beforehand and decided what times we needed and that we were going to push each other to get them.”

Both Eggleston and her friend, junior Shannon Porter, qualified for nationals, and although Eggleston qualified for both the 3k and 5k, she’s decided to only compete in the 3k.

“I’m only running the 3k because I have a better chance at earning All-American,” Eggleston said. “I’m just hoping that by only doing one race it’ll leave me fresher than other runners so that I can hit the top eight.”

Aside from Eggleston, there’s only one other runner at the national championship meet who is solely competing in the 3k.

“The race will be a bit slower and tactical than usual,” Adkisson said. “It’ll be all about her being in a good position for the first half of the race and making a decision for when to make a move and just go as hard as she can to the finish line.”

The national competition is being held in Pittsburg, Kan., on March 11. Eggleston will be the only representative from Central.

“I’m not going for a specific time, I’m going for top eight. So if I’m feeling good around 900 meters out, I’m just going to go for it,” Eggleston said. “I’ll be happy with hitting the top eight and earning All-American—it’d be harder to get faster than that. My last goal was to make it to nationals, but now that I’ve done that, my goal [is to] earn an All-American honor again.”