Two individuals and a relay team from the New Mexico Highlands University female athletes took home All-American honors at the NCAA DII Track and and Field National Championships held May 23-25 in at Emporia State University.

Three college female runners are on the track competing in the hurdles. The runner in the foreground,an African American dressed in New Mexico Highlands kit, is leading the race. an African American dressed in New Mexico Highlands kit

NMHU’s Sophomore Patreece Clarke

Sophomore Patreece Clarke earned All-American status in the 100 hurdles, qualifying for the finals and finishing seventh in a time 13.50 seconds. It was her third All-American recognition.

Clarke also was part of the 4X100 relay squad that finished 10th with a time of 45.41, to gain second-team All-American honors along with freshmen Onanda Lowe,  Kacien Powell and Ashley Barrett.

Barrett also finished 10th in the 200 dash preliminaries with a time of 23.53 seconds. While that was not good enough to earn her a spot in the championship final, it was good enough second-team status

“It s a pretty big deal,” said Cowgirls coach Bob DeVries. “During the drive back back, I thought it was quite an accomplishment for everybody being in the top 12. Maybe we didn’t reach the ultimate goals that I had or my expectations, it’s still quite a feat to get everybody who went with an All America award. There’s a lot of other athletes who went home wishing that they were second-team All American.”

The Highlands women’s program has nearly 75 All-Americans in its storied history.

“We want to keep building that number,” he said.

In looking at the accomplishments, DeVries pointed out that Barrett had to overcome significant injuries suffered during the indoor and outdoor seasons.

“She probably missed a total of six weeks of training, which is pretty incredible,” he said. “Jamaica is a rich country, so deep in the sprints, When I look at Ashley, she has the potential to be a top sprinter in Jamaica. She’s so deserving and she has a great attitude and she works as hard or harder than anybody I’ve ever had on this team. So that’s  good combination.

For more information contact: Shanna Halalilo, New Mexico Highlands University co-athletic director at 505-429-5323.