TERRE HAUTE —
Indiana State senior Felisha Johnson added another honor to a growing list of accomplishments in her four-year career as a Sycamore when she was named the Great Lakes Region Women’s Field Athlete of the Year on Monday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
The senior from Indianapolis is the nation’s collegiate leader in the weight throw and ranks second in the shot put after posting school records in both events this season.
Johnson’s mark of 75-feet, 8-inches in the weight throw places her fifth all-time among collegiate performers and makes her just the sixth collegiate woman to surpass 75 feet. She recently placed fourth at the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships with a distance of 73- 3/4. It is the fifth time this season that Johnson has had a throw over 70 feet.
She won the NCAA Indoor title in the weight throw in 2011 and finished fourth in 2012. She will be going after her second NCAA indoor championship this weekend at Fayetteville, Ark.
Johnson also ranks second among collegians in 2013 with a shot put distance of 58-4 3/4 which set the school record and was accomplished as she won the shot put invitational at the Indiana Relays. She placed seventh in the event at the 2012 indoor Championships and will be competing again this year.
She won her first Missouri Valley Conference indoor title in the weight throw this year and finished second in the shot put.
Johnson has been just as efficient outdoors. The senior placed 13th at the USA Olympic Trials in the shot put just weeks after placing fifth at the 2012 NCAA outdoor meet. A two-time All-America outdoors, Johnson has competed in the shot put, discus and hammer the past two seasons.
In other women’s track and field news:
• Sycamores sign four — Two athletes from Indiana and one each from Illinois and Wisconsin have signed their national letters of intent to compete for Indiana State according to coach Angie Martin.
Alethia (Alis) Marrero of Ben Davis and Natalie Nolting of Franklin Central will join Jessica Melchi of Mahomet-Seymour High School in Illinois and Bridget Murphy of Seymour Community High School in Seymour, Wis.
“All of these young women come from great families and we are very happy that they have chosen to come and join our Sycamore family,” Martin said.
Marrero has competed in middle distance and distance while also a high jumper. She ran a career-best 2:16.42 in placing ninth in the 800 meters at the state meet as a sophomore and nearly matched that time with a second-place finish at the 2012 regional. She went on to finish 10th at state (2:17.59) as a junior. She cleared a career-best height of 5-3 in the high jump at the 2012 regional. In cross country, Marrero has a career-best 19:31 for the 5K event which she ran in placing ninth at the 2012 regional. She has advanced to the semistate twice.
Nolting reached the state championship in cross country as a sophomore and finished 78th (19:58.1) but ran a career-best 19:24.9 in the 5K event at the Conference Indiana meet as a senior. She also ran in the state championship as a senior as Franklin Central finished fourth as a team and she finished 64th individually (19:39).
Nolting has also been successful on the track, running a career-best 5:18.53 in the 1,600 meters and 12:22.05 in the 3,200 meters.
Melchi has competed in the Illinois state meet for three seasons, placing fourth in the 400 meters last year with a career-best time of 57.67 seconds and 12th in pole vault. She was also a member of the 4x400 team that finished sixth at state in 2012 with a time of 3:59.2 in the finals. She has a career-best height of 11-9 in pole vault and career bests of 13.94 in the 100 meters and 27.84 in the 200 meters.
Murphy has run in the 800 meters at the state meet for three straight years with her best finish coming last year as a junior when she finished third (2:14.58). She was also fourth as a sophomore in a career-best 2:14.13 and was 18th as a freshman.
Murphy ran a career best 15:41.49 in the 4K event at the Bay conference meet as a senior where she placed eighth and has career bests of 26.93 in the 200 meters, 59.40 in the 400 meters and 5:33.95 in the 1,600 meters.
• North Clay wins — At Clinton, North Clay won the Western Indiana Conference middle school championships on Saturday at South Vermillion Middle School.