CIRCLEVILLE, OH - After both compiling school records and multiple awards throughout the 2017 Indoor and Outdoor seasons, Ariel Young and Zarria Williams capped off their fantastic seasons with a great weekend at a hot and challenging NAIA National Meet. For Williams, it would be her first taste of the NAIA event, participating in the long jump as a Freshman. Despite the high level of competition, Zarria would stand up to the test finishing 6th in the Women's Long Jump with a school record 5.84m jump. With her 6th place finish, Williams becomes only the second Ohio Christian University Trailblazer to be named an NAIA All-American, following in the footsteps of Ariel Young, OCU's first NAIA All-American.
For Young, the weekend would be a weekend of unknowns, as she was set to compete in her first ever marathon along with running in the Women's 10K. In the 10K, Young would break her own personal record to finish 6th overall in a very tough field of competitors. Entering the marathon, Ariel aimed to rely on her preparation, and excelled in the process. Young would finish 4th overall, completing her first marathon in 3:13:07.30. Both of these finishes qualified Ariel for NAIA All-American, making her a 3-Time NAIA All-American for the 2016-17 athletic season.
"Our first trip to NAIA Nationals could not have gone much better on the track/runway and in the marathon. These are two talented and hardworking young ladies that put in the time, the dedication, and work into the process," said Head Coach Eric Hamner. "These goals started being reached long ago and are the culmination of their lives being focused toward their goals and their hearts being turned toward God as an act of worship and trust in Him. I could not be more proud of these ladies and my assistant coach, Nic Huffman. I am overwhelmingly grateful to God for the blessing He has allowed us and we praise Him for that. Their performances were very much acts of faith to find where their work, talents, and toughness end and where God takes over and sustains them. Bringing home three NAIA All-American performances is just the beginning of where Ohio Christian University is headed and these ladies have raised the bar of excellence. I sure hope those around them are inspired to reach that bar. It was also a great meet for our conference. I am very proud of the coaches and athletes that represented the RSC so well on the big stage."
For more on the Trailblazer Track and Field program and the rest of OCU Athletics, follow us on Twitter (@OCUtrailblazers), Facebook (Ohio Christian University Trailblazers), and YouTube (Ohio Christian University Trailblazers)