Saturday was most decorated day for Trinity Western Universityâ€™s track and field team at the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) championships in Rome, Ga.
Four Spartans, including Anastasia Pearse, Rachel Shuttleworth, James Linde, and Joel De Schiffart, all earned a spot on the podium on the final day of the championships at Shorter University.
Pearse led the way with a first place finish in the 400m hurdles, with a NCCAA championship record time of 1:01.20. The fourth-year Pearse became the first Spartan to win an individual NCCAA championship.
Earlier in the day, the first-year Shuttleworth earned a third place finish in the 400m with a time of 57.41 seconds.
On the menâ€™s side, the second-year Linde nabbed his second podium finish of the meet, as he finished third in the 200m with a personal best time of 21.17 seconds. Linde also posted a personal best time of 10.68 seconds in the 100m.
With a total of 17 points, including Thursdayâ€™s second place finish in long jump, Linde finished the meet as the third highest menâ€™s individual scorer.
Rounding out the podium presence was De Schiffart, who earned a third place showing in the 5000m in a time of 15:01.77.
As a team, the Spartans women finished ninth, with 33 points, while the men finished tied for ninth, with 36 points.
Pearse was named the female winner of the NCCAA 2014 Wheeler Award for excellence in academics and athletics, as well as possessing a Christian character on and off the track.
Pearse, who has a 3.75 GPA, is the director of the Crestwell Leadership Camp, which is a camp focused on mentoring young women to understand their potential and to help them develop into leaders and role models.
She helps coordinate the team of leaders who are involved and leads in promoting and building the campâ€™s programs.
She also recently acquired her bus driverâ€™s license so she can be a volunteer driver for Redeemer Pacific College. She helps drive students to church and coordinates trips for students to conferences, while also helping to connect the college to the community.
Pearse is also on the organizing committee for an upcoming service trip to Ethiopia, which will include a number of athletes from the TWU track and field teams.
â€œAs one of the veteran athletes on our team, Anastasia brings a calming and counselling influence,â€ said Spartans coach Laurier Primeau. â€œShe is extremely caring and empathetic and I know much of that is demonstrated through her leadership qualities and her willingness to give back to the community. I think itâ€™s noteworthy that she is the eldest of nine children and itâ€™s likely some of this motherly love comes naturally given her family life.â€