June 7, 2012
DES MOINES, Iowa - UC Davis standout Sarah Sumpter, the Big West Women's Track Athlete of the Year, earned All-America second-team honors on Thursday night with her 15th-place finish in the 10,000-meter run at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Drake University.
Sumpter, a junior from Cloverdale and the program's record-holder in the event, was timed in 33 minutes, 49.57 seconds, breaking the 34-minute barrier for the second time this season. She is just one of two Aggie runners to go under that standard in their careers.
Natosha Rogers of Texas A&M used a strong final lap to win the race, pulling away from Alliphone Tuliamuk of Wichita State (32:45.43), Cal's Deborah Maier (32:47.20) and Meaghan Nelson (32:47.43) of Iowa State who had formed a lead pack with her over the final stages of the 25-lap race.
Sumpter was in the middle of the field most of the race and led a second pack which caught the lead group near the 15-minute mark. The lead runners, however, pulled away again over the next nearly two minutes.
"Sarah had the privilege of racing in a talent-laden field that set an honest pace from the opening gun," said head coach Drew Wartenburg. "Earning second-team All-America honors in her first national appearance provides both validation and motivation for the future.
"Twenty-five laps is a long way to race at season's end and to finish right around her national ranking is a great accomplishment."
The race brings to a close a magnificent season for Sumpter who captured Heitman Award honors as UC Davis' top female student-athlete of the year. She helped lead the Aggies to first-ever Big West championships in both cross country and track and field.
Sumpter was second among all individuals at the Big West Cross Country Championships while winning both the 5,000 and 10,000 events at the track and field championships. She holds both the school and conference records in the 10K and had meet records in both events at the league championships.
Sumpter was also the Aggie's female winner of the 2012 Big West Scholar-Athlete Award.
Her race also ends UC Davis' stay at the NCAA Championships. Senior Ashley Hearn finished third in the discus on Wednesday, earning All-America first-team honors, and giving the Aggies six team points. Sumpter and Hearn are the first-ever UC Davis women to earn spots in the national finals since the program moved to Div. I five seasons ago.
"Our two women represented the program well this week and hopefully have blazed a trail for other Aggies to follow," said Wartenburg.
NCAA DIVISION I OUTDOOR TRACK AND FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Des Moines, Iowa (hosted by Drake University)
Day 2 of 4
UC Davis results only
10,000 - 1. Natosha Rogers, Texas A&M, 32:41.63... 15. Sarah Sumpter, 33:49.57.