Sophomore Nina Schultz and senior Terrell Smith will be competing in the 2018 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships at Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium in College Station, Texas, this weekend.
Both Schultz and Smith have had some of the best performances in the country during the 2017-2018 season to earn themselves a spot in the championships this weekend.
For Schultz, from New Westminster, Canada, this will be her second trip to the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship. She qualified in the pentathlon and long jump. In the pentathlon this year, Schultz accelerated by claiming the top NCAA score with a 4,502 scored at the Texas Tech Shootout on Feb. 9.
Schultz also secured her long jump spot for this weekend in her pentathlon performance at the Texas Tech Shootout with a personal best jump of 6.39m/20-11.75. Her performance got her the ranking of No.11 in the country this year.
Going into this weekend, Schultz is just focusing on getting better and not focus on placing.
“I am hoping to just go in and improve on my score from earlier this year,” Schultz said to K-State Sports. “I do not like to go into competition worrying about placing, so I think if I execute my events I will be able to place pretty well.”
Schultz finished third in the pentathlon at the NCAA Indoor Championships last year and thinks that experience will benefit her with her nerves this year. This year she is ranked first in the country in the pentathlon and she said that naturally comes with expectations to do better, which is causing her to be a bit more nervous.
“I feel like I’ve been a little more nervous recently because I’m ranked higher and I know I have a chance to do better. So going in, I’m going to try to not think about that,” Schultz said to K-State Sports. “I know I always perform better when I just go out there and compete and not worry about results, really. That’s my goal again this year.”
Smith, from Mississippi, will be making his first appearance at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship. He qualified in the men’s 200 meters at the DeLoss Dodds Invitational by running a 20.65, which claimed the 12th fastest time in the country. Smith has had a strong senior campaign as he tied for fourth in the 200 at the Big 12 Championship, and set a school record time of 20.86 at the Texas Tech Shootout.
On speaking of his journey in his career to get this weekend being guaranteed at least Second Team All-America honors, he said to K-State Sports, “I believe it has been a stepping-stone every year. I’ve been continuously getting better every year.”
Smith is going into this weekend with the right mindset.
“I’m walking into an atmosphere that I’m not going to stress. I’m not going to worry about things,” Smith said to K-State sports. “I’m just going to enjoy the experience. And if I do well, then that’s wonderful. If I don’t, then at least I made it this far. At least I progressed in my times and was able to make it here my final year.
The NCAA Track and Field Indoor Championships will be on Friday, March 9 and Saturday, March 10.