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Regent University’s Track & Field Team Produces First NCCAA National Qualifying Athlete

On Saturday, March 25, 2017 Regent University College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) student Jonathan Kemp (‘18) made history as he became the Regent Track & Field team’s first NCCAA national qualifying athlete after competing in Lynchburg College’s Dr. Jack M. Toms Alumni Invitational in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Kemp finished first in his section and seventh out of 34 athletes in the 400-meter dash.

“It was a huge accomplishment. I’ve been working hard toward that, so it was incredible!” said Kemp. “I felt really good once I finished the race, and it’s really exciting to qualify for nationals and to be the first student that’s done that. Now my mindset is ‘that was yesterday,’ and I’m just ready to move on from that and get a better time.”

Interim athletic director Roger Cheeks said, “I think it excited the whole team! That’s one thing that’s impressive about this team, particularly. It’s the first intercollegiate team that we’ve ever had at Regent, and they’re setting a tone of unity and support of one another. It ignited something in the athletes to see one of their own achieve [this] accomplishment… I am so pleased that [Jonathan Kemp] is developing like this. To be our first NCCAA person to have a national qualifying time in an event — that’s remarkable!”

Other team members also achieved new personal records during the invitational. CAS student Joshua Schneider (‘19) shaved four seconds off his record time in the 1500-meter race and finished fourth in his section. Rebekah Parks (‘17) finished second in her section of the 800-meter race.

Sara Prokop (’17) finished first in her flight of the women’s long jump competition. Kelsie Weyer (’19), Francy Reyes (’19), Betty Woode (’19), School of Law student Sandrine Sandrali (’18) and School of Psychology & Counseling student Jasmin Bryant (’19) broke their personal records in the women’s 200-meter dash.

During the meet, CAS student Joshua Schneider (’19) said, “I’m very happy with my entire team’s performance. They have stepped it up. They’ve set goals for themselves in this meet, and they’ve been exceeding them beyond measure, and that’s really awesome to see. It’s encouraging, too, because once you see someone hit the time they wanted to hit, it encourages everyone else to [do the same].”