Irvin finishes DWU career with third-place finishDakota Wesleyan University’s Tamika Irvin saved her best for last.
By: Kevin Pottebaum, The Daily Republic
Dakota Wesleyan University’s Tamika Irvin saved her best for last.
The senior track athlete already held the school record in the 200-meter dash but finished her career by setting a new personal best with a time of 24.26 seconds at the NAIA national outdoor track meet Saturday in Marion, Ind.
Irvin earned All-American status with a third-place finish in the 200, making it the second event in which she claimed the All-American title. She finished fifth in the 100-meter dash Friday.
“I’m very proud of her,” Wesleyan track coach Pat Belling said. “She has worked very hard this year and she deserves it.”
Oklahoma Baptist’s Jura Levy took first in the 200 with a time of 23.26 seconds.
Belling said the goal for Irvin all season was to finish in the top eight at the national meet to earn All-American status.
“I didn’t care about her times all weekend,” Belling said. “I just wanted her to get in the top eight.”
Belling said with three days filled with qualifying races to get to the finals, Irvin’s personal best in her final race seemed even more impressive.
“I don’t think people understand how hard it is to run that many races in three days,” Belling said. “It took everything she could muster up to do what she did.”
Belling said Irvin deserves all the credit but also said assistant coaches Chris Creal, Zeke Prado and Ian Ames were influential in coaching Irvin to her successful season.
Belling also said Dakota Wesleyan’s acceleration coordinator Andrew Murphy played a key role.
Derik Fossum, another Tigers track athlete, was competing during the final day of the NAIA track season.
Fossum was unable to earn All-American status as he finished in 12th place in the triple jump event with a leap of 47-feet, 5-inches.
“It’s unfortunate that he didn’t get All-American,” Belling said. “He deserved it and it’s not going to take away from what he has accomplished or who he is as a person.”