Former Prairie star Valerie Schmidt became the first Corban University champion in athletics when she won heptathlon at the NAIA Championships last week in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
Schmidt won his personal best in the last three competitions – long jump, javelin throw and 800 meters.
Schmidt’s 18-foot-long jumps of 0.5 inches were Korban’s school record. Her heptathlon score of 5,158 also set a school record.
Her 800 times in 2 minutes 23.94 seconds gave her the first time in the overall standings. Schmidt had to beat Lauren Tamayo of Hasting College by 1.5 seconds. She was more than three seconds ahead of her opponent and won by 19 points.
“I drank from my heart and was scared,” Schmidt said. “I didn’t know I won until I saw the board with my time. It was an amazing experience. All my work, all the trials and tribulations I went through, all came together. I’m not exaggerating when I say it was the hardest heptathlon I’ve ever had. Every moment challenged me. I prayed constantly. I desperately wanted to win, but I had to check my heart and let it be okay if I didn’t. ”