Moffat County High School graduate Alicia Nelson closed out her unforgettable collegiate running career in the best way possible by adding two more national championships to her title total.
Last weekend at the NCAA Division II Track and Field National Championships, Nelson, a 2009 graduate from MCHS, repeated as a national champ in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and the 5,000-meter run. In the process, she won her eighth and ninth individual national championships (between cross country and track) to finish off a glowing career at Adams State University.
Nelson first won the steeplechase last Friday in 9 minutes, 54.02 seconds, a personal best for her and Division II national record. She beat the next-fastest runner, Augustana College’s Kyle Blakeslee, by nearly 20 seconds.
In the 5,000-meter final Saturday night, she relied on her strong finishing capability to pull away from the field for another win in 16:29.60, six seconds ahead of Samantha Divard, of the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
Adams State has a storied Division II running program, winning the women’s cross-country team championship 15 times in an 18-year stretch, but with nine individual national championships, Nelson has more than any other ASU woman.
Nelson’s college running career is now over, but her competitive career isn't. The next step will be the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships, held June 26 through 29 in Sacramento, California, where she plans on competing in the steeplechase.
Her 9:54 gives her an "A" qualifying time and is the 13th-fastest 3,000 steeple time run at any level in the United States in 2014.
Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter at @CDP_Sports.