Greensboro, NC., May 28, 2021 - Westminster College women's track and field high jumper Avylina Powell-Qualo (Republic, Mo. / Republic) came into the 2021 NCAA Division III Outdoor National Championships already knowing her season was a success. She became the first women's track and field athlete to ever qualify for the NCAA National Championships in the NCAA era of Westminster College Athletics. The sophmore took advantage of her opportunity to finish 11th in the nation amongst a field of 19 of the best high jumpers in the U.S.
Powell-Qualo got going right from the start. Her first attempt was at 1.56 meters and she easily cleared the bar. Her next jump was at the 1.61 meter mark and she was unsuccessful on her first attempt. The next attempt was successful and sent her on to the next round. This time at 1.64 meters, she would again contact the bar on her first attemp but clear it on her second. Next came 1.67 meters. Powel-Qualo would run into trouble at this height. She was unsuccessful in her three attempts and ending her day in a four way tie for 9th place. She would lose 9th and 10th place tie breakers due to more misses at the previous heights than Emma Klosterman from Otterbein University and Taiah Gallisath of North Central College. Sharde Johnson from Colby College cleared 1.76 meters to win the national championship.
"The experience she gained in her first ever national championship meet will be invaluable going forward for Avylina." said Head Coach Will Crocker "I am excited for the future for her and our entire team. We can't wait to get normal athletic seasons next year that will allow her to practice and compete more after her basketball season gets over. I am very proud of her. She worked very hard in a short period of time to get here where no other Blue Jay has been."
A SLIAC Tournament Championship, 2nd Team All Conference and SLIAC All Defensive Team in women's basketball. She won three meets this season, set the Westminster College outdoor high jump record with a 1.70 meter jump at the Truman State Twilight Meet, won a SLIAC Championship and then recorded an 11th place national finish. That is a great year by anyones standards. We all can't wait to see what Powell-Qualo does for an encore in 2021-22!