Deacon prepared for outdoor track nationals

Natalie Deacon prepares to start a race on a track.

La Crosse, Wis. -- Don't consider it a victory lap.

Or even four victory laps.

For Lynchburg College graduate student Natalie Deacon, this week's trip to the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be much more than that.

Deacon will hit the track at the Veteran's Memorial Field Sports Complex on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in search of her fourth-career All-America performance with a chance to repeat the honor in the 1,500-meter run. Deacon placed seventh in the event at nationals in 2017, but she remains hungry for success.

The quest begins with the preliminary race Thursday, May 24 at 2:45 p.m. CDT (3:45 Eastern). She will run in the second of two heats.

The top four runners from each heat along with the next four top times will advance to the 12-woman final. Should she advance, that race will take place Saturday, May 26 at 12:35 p.m. CDT (1:35 Eastern).

Deacon's career accolades thus far would eclipse the wildest dreams of many Division III athletes -- countless individual awards and a national championship in women's soccer paired with three mid-distance All-America performances between indoor and outdoor track -- but the West Chester, Pa., native is still hungry for more. She's been clear: Making it back to nationals is just the beginning.

"That's not great to me," Deacon said of qualifying. "I'm really pumped to just go out there, lay it on the line, and fight for every inch."

Part of the motivation is a showing she deemed lackluster in the 1-mile at the Division III indoor championships this winter. She placed sixth in the event and defended her All-America honor in the event, but she didn't feel as though she ran her best race.

"I was actually really disappointed with my performance," Deacon said. "And it wasn't because of my time, and it wasn't because of the place. I was just how I ran the race; I wasn't satisfied with it."

This time, with the twilight of her career looming, she knows to leave nothing in the tank.

"I just want to run with courage and run my heart out," she said. "And I think I'll be really proud of that result."

Deacon has already accomplished much in the 2018 outdoor season. She helped lead the Hornet women to an Old Dominion Athletic Conference team championship, the program's first since 2011, with a win in the 800-meter run and second in the 1,500 and 5,000. She was an All-South/Southeast Region performer (top three time) in the 800 and 1,500 and met the NCAA qualifying mark for both events, electing to compete only in the 1,500 in La Crosse.

She enters the national meet ranked 23rd in the 1,500 and 11th in the 800.

Prior to continuing her running career, she was a stalwart on the back line for the Lynchburg women's soccer team and helped the program to the national title in 2014. She was All-ODAC, all-state, all-region, and Academic All-America on the pitch. She took up track & field when her soccer career ended and didn't miss a beat, becoming an All-American in the indoor 1-mile with a seventh-place finish as a senior and finishing seventh in the 1,500 at outdoor nationals in 2017. She also earned another CoSIDA Academic All-American title, becoming the first athlete in Lynchburg history to win the award in two sports.

"It's just been such a cool journey," Deacon said. "I ran track in high school, and coming back to it has just been kind of like a full-circle thing."

Continuing with soccer as a graduate assistant at Lynchburg, Deacon elected to use her final year of eligibility on the track as well in what's turned into a whirlwind year. The Hornets won another ODAC title on the pitch in the fall, and she continued to break records when track season rolled around; Deacon now holds the program records in the indoor 800, 1-mile, 3,000, and distance medley relay and outdoor 800 and 1,500.

But true to form, she hasn't let herself be satisfied with success.

"It really has shaped me as a person," she said of the new challenge, "but I also think that there's a lot of unfinished business."

Should she finish in the top eight this time around, Deacon will become the first four-time All-American in Lynchburg women's track & field history.

Follow this link to watch the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships' live webcast. Live results from the meet can be found here.

--LC--

No Event
No Event
Wed Dec 05
Final
54 Randolph
80 Lynchburg
Wed Dec 05
Final
78 No. 22 Lynchburg
82 at Guilford
Sat Dec 08
Final
73 Va. Wesleyan
55 Lynchburg
Sat Dec 08
Final
78 No. 22 Lynchburg
76 at Methodist
Sun Dec 16
Final
59 McDaniel
83 Lynchburg
Sat Dec 29
Final
74 No. 16 Chris. Newport
65 at Lynchburg
Lynchburg Holiday Classic -- Game 1
Sat Dec 29
Final
75 Lynchburg
66 vs. Muskingum
@ Guilford College, Greensboro, N.C. Guilford Classic
Sat Dec 29
Final
54 Meredith
70 vs. Emory & Henry
@ Lynchburg, Va. Lynchburg Holiday Classic -- Game 2
Sun Dec 30
Final
76 Emory & Henry
56 at No. 16 Chris. Newport
Lynchburg Holiday Classic -- Game 3
Sun Dec 30
Final
74 Greensboro
82 vs. Lynchburg
@ Greensboro, N.C. (Ragan-Brown) Guilford Classic
Sun Dec 30
Final
50 Meredith
69 at Lynchburg
Lynchburg Holiday Classic -- Game 4
Tue Jan 01
Final
73 Averett
87 Lynchburg
Sat Jan 05
Final
42 Lynchburg
53 at East. Mennonite
Sat Jan 05
Final
89 Lynchburg
75 at Shenandoah
Mon Jan 07
Final
69 Washington and Lee
75 Lynchburg
Wed Jan 09
Final
50 Hollins
66 Lynchburg
Wed Jan 09
Final
87 No. 22 Lynchburg
73 at Emory & Henry
Sat Jan 12
Final
59 Lynchburg
63 at No. 21 Emory & Henry
Sat Jan 12
Final
66 Va. Wesleyan
68 No. 22 Lynchburg
Wed Jan 16
Final
76 Guilford
85 Lynchburg
Thu Jan 17
Final
82 No. 17 Lynchburg
79 at Washington and Lee
Fri Jan 18
VMI Keydet Invitational
@ Lexington, Va.
Sat Jan 19
VMI Keydet Invitational
@ Lexington, Va.
Sat Jan 19
Final
77 Lynchburg
68 at Bridgewater (Va.)
Sat Jan 19
Final - OT
78 No. 17 Lynchburg
66 at East. Mennonite
Wed Jan 23
Final
66 Lynchburg
55 at Randolph
Wed Jan 23
Final - OT
88 Guilford
82 No. 14 Lynchburg
Track Suits & Sneakers Game
Fri Jan 25
Liberty University Kickoff
@ Lynchburg, Va.
Sat Jan 26
Liberty University Kickoff
@ Lynchburg, Va.
Sat Jan 26
2:00 PM
Roanoke
Lynchburg
Alumni Day
Sat Jan 26
4:30 PM
No. 12 Randolph-Macon
No. 14 Lynchburg
Alumni Day/Coaches vs. Cancer Week
Wed Jan 30
7:00 PM
Emory & Henry
Lynchburg
Wed Jan 30
7:30 PM
Lynchburg
at Roanoke
Sat Feb 02
Vince Brown Invitational
@ Christopher Newport University, Newport News, Va.
Sat Feb 02
2:00 PM
Bridgewater (Va.)
Lynchburg
Wed Feb 06
5:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Ferrum
Wed Feb 06
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Ferrum
Fri Feb 08
VMI Winter Relays
@ Lexington, Va.
Fri Feb 08
1 p.m.
Texas Christian
Lynchburg
Sat Feb 09
VMI Winter Relays
@ Lexington, Va.
Sat Feb 09
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Methodist
Sat Feb 09
1:00 PM
Salisbury
Lynchburg
Sat Feb 09
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Methodist
Sat Feb 09
3:00 PM
East. Mennonite
Lynchburg
Play4Kay Game
Sat Feb 09
5:30 PM
Shenandoah
Lynchburg
Senior Day
Sun Feb 10
Randolph IHSA
Wed Feb 13
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Roanoke
Wed Feb 13
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Hampden-Sydney
Fri Feb 15
Virginia Tech Challenge
@ Blacksburg, Va.
Sat Feb 16
Virginia Tech Challenge
@ Blacksburg, Va.
Sat Feb 16
Bridgewater IHSA
Sat Feb 16
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Franklin & Marshall
Sat Feb 16
1:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Maryville (Tenn.)
Sat Feb 16
2:00 PM
Shenandoah
Lynchburg
Senior Day | CODE RED Game
Sat Feb 16
4:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Maryville (Tenn.)
Sun Feb 17
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Maryville (Tenn.)
Wed Feb 20
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Averett
Fri Feb 22
2:00 PM
Ferrum
Lynchburg
Sat Feb 23
Hollins IHSA
Sat Feb 23
9:30 AM
Olivet
vs. Lynchburg
@ Cary, N.C. Grand Slam Triangle Classic
Sat Feb 23
11:00 AM
Lynchburg
vs. Penn St.-Behrend
@ Fayetteville, N.C. Armstrong/Diamond Invitational
Sat Feb 23
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Mary Washington
Sat Feb 23
1:00 PM
Cabrini
Lynchburg
Sat Feb 23
1:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Ferrum
Sat Feb 23
5:00 PM
Rowan
vs. Lynchburg
@ Cary, N.C. Grand Slam Triangle Classic
Sat Feb 23
5:00 PM
Lynchburg
vs. Rutgers-Camden
@ Fayetteville, N.C. Armstrong/Diamond Invitational
Sun Feb 24
ODAC Indoor Championships
@ Roanoke College, Salem, Va.
Sun Feb 24
10 a.m.
Lynchburg IHSA
Sun Feb 24
10:00 AM
Lynchburg
vs. Emory
@ Cary, N.C. William Peace Triangle Classic
Sun Feb 24
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
vs. Greensboro
@ Cary, N.C. Grand Slam Triangle Classic
Sun Feb 24
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Methodist
Armstrong/Diamond Invitational
Fri Mar 01
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Guilford
Sat Mar 02
Roanoke Last Chance Qualifier
@ Salem, Va.
Sat Mar 02
10:00 AM
St. Mary's (Md.)
Lynchburg
Sat Mar 02
10:00 AM
St. Mary's (Md.)
Lynchburg
Sat Mar 02
12:00 PM
Geneva
Lynchburg
Suicide Awareness Day
Sat Mar 02
12:00 PM
Penn St.-Harrisburg
Lynchburg
Sat Mar 02
1:00 PM
Lynchburg
at York (Pa.)
One Love Foundation Game
Sat Mar 02
1:00 PM
Frostburg St.
Lynchburg
Sat Mar 02
2:00 PM
Guilford
Lynchburg
Sat Mar 02
2:00 PM
Geneva
Lynchburg
Sat Mar 02
3:00 PM
Penn St.-Harrisburg
Lynchburg
Sun Mar 03
12:00 PM
York (Pa.)
Lynchburg
Sun Mar 03
12:00 PM
York (Pa.)
Lynchburg
Sun Mar 03
1:00 PM
Penn St.-Harrisburg
Lynchburg
Mon Mar 04
Hill City Invitational, Boonsboro CC, Lynchburg, Va. -- Day 1
Tue Mar 05
Hill City Invitational, Boonsboro CC, Lynchburg, Va. -- Day 2
Tue Mar 05
2:00 PM
Salem
Lynchburg
Tue Mar 05
2:00 PM
William Peace
Lynchburg
Tue Mar 05
3:00 PM
William Peace
Lynchburg
Tue Mar 05
4:00 PM
Salem
Lynchburg
Wed Mar 06
3:00 PM
Lynchburg
at William Peace
Wed Mar 06
4:00 PM
Gwynedd Mercy
Lynchburg
Fri Mar 08
NCAA Division III Indoor Championships
@ Boston, Mass.
Fri Mar 08
UNCW Seahawk Invitational
@ Wilmington, N.C.
Fri Mar 08
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Salem
Sat Mar 09
NCAA Division III Indoor Championships
@ Boston, Mass.
Sat Mar 09
UNCW Seahawk Invitational
@ Wilmington, N.C.
Sat Mar 09
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. TBA
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Sat Mar 09
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. TBA
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Sat Mar 09
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
vs. TCNJ
@ Salisbury, Md. Salisbury Invitational
Sat Mar 09
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Washington and Lee
Sat Mar 09
1:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Bridgewater (Va.)
Sat Mar 09
1:00 PM
Columbia (S.C.)
Lynchburg
Sat Mar 09
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
vs. TCNJ
@ Salisbury, Md. Salisbury Invitational
Sat Mar 09
3:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Washington and Lee
Sun Mar 10
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. TBA
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Sun Mar 10
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. Gordon
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Sun Mar 10
12:00 PM
Cortland
vs. Lynchburg
@ Salisbury, Md. Salisbury Invitational
Sun Mar 10
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
vs. Elizabethtown
@ U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame, Sparks, Md.
Sun Mar 10
2:00 PM
Cortland
vs. Lynchburg
@ Salisbury, Md. Salisbury Invitational
Mon Mar 11
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. TBA
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Mon Mar 11
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. TBA
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Mon Mar 11
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Salisbury
Mon Mar 11
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Salisbury
Tue Mar 12
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. Milligan
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Tue Mar 12
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. Milligan
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Tue Mar 12
10:00 AM
Lynchburg
vs. Swarthmore
@ Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex, Clearwater, Fla.
Tue Mar 12
3:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Mary Washington
Wed Mar 13
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. TBA
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Wed Mar 13
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. TBA
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Thu Mar 14
Alan Connie Shamrock Invitational
@ Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Thu Mar 14
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. Mount Union
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Thu Mar 14
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. Mount Union
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Thu Mar 14
2:30 PM
Lynchburg
at Chris. Newport
Thu Mar 14
4:30 PM
Lynchburg
at Chris. Newport
Thu Mar 14
7:00 PM
Meredith
vs. Lynchburg
@ Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex, Clearwater, Fla.
No Event
View Full Schedule
Sat Feb 16
1:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Maryville (Tenn.)
Sat Feb 16
4:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Maryville (Tenn.)
Sun Feb 17
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Maryville (Tenn.)
Wed Feb 20
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Averett
Sat Feb 23
11:00 AM
Lynchburg
vs. Penn St.-Behrend
@ Fayetteville, N.C. Armstrong/Diamond Invitational
Sat Feb 23
5:00 PM
Lynchburg
vs. Rutgers-Camden
@ Fayetteville, N.C. Armstrong/Diamond Invitational
Sun Feb 24
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Methodist
Armstrong/Diamond Invitational
Sat Mar 02
12:00 PM
Penn St.-Harrisburg
Lynchburg
Sat Mar 02
3:00 PM
Penn St.-Harrisburg
Lynchburg
Sun Mar 03
1:00 PM
Penn St.-Harrisburg
Lynchburg
Tue Mar 05
2:00 PM
William Peace
Lynchburg
Wed Mar 06
3:00 PM
Lynchburg
at William Peace
Sat Mar 09
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Washington and Lee
Sat Mar 09
3:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Washington and Lee
Tue Mar 12
3:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Mary Washington
View Full Schedule
No Event
Wed Dec 05
Final
78 No. 22 Lynchburg
82 at Guilford
Sat Dec 08
Final
78 No. 22 Lynchburg
76 at Methodist
Sun Dec 16
Final
59 McDaniel
83 Lynchburg
Sat Dec 29
Final
75 Lynchburg
66 vs. Muskingum
@ Guilford College, Greensboro, N.C. Guilford Classic
Sun Dec 30
Final
74 Greensboro
82 vs. Lynchburg
@ Greensboro, N.C. (Ragan-Brown) Guilford Classic
Tue Jan 01
Final
73 Averett
87 Lynchburg
Sat Jan 05
Final
89 Lynchburg
75 at Shenandoah
Wed Jan 09
Final
87 No. 22 Lynchburg
73 at Emory & Henry
Sat Jan 12
Final
66 Va. Wesleyan
68 No. 22 Lynchburg
Thu Jan 17
Final
82 No. 17 Lynchburg
79 at Washington and Lee
Sat Jan 19
Final - OT
78 No. 17 Lynchburg
66 at East. Mennonite
Wed Jan 23
Final - OT
88 Guilford
82 No. 14 Lynchburg
Track Suits & Sneakers Game
Sat Jan 26
4:30 PM
No. 12 Randolph-Macon
No. 14 Lynchburg
Alumni Day/Coaches vs. Cancer Week
Wed Jan 30
7:30 PM
Lynchburg
at Roanoke
Sat Feb 02
2:00 PM
Bridgewater (Va.)
Lynchburg
Wed Feb 06
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Ferrum
Sat Feb 09
5:30 PM
Shenandoah
Lynchburg
Senior Day
Wed Feb 13
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Hampden-Sydney
No Event
View Full Schedule
No Event
No Event
Wed Dec 05
Final
54 Randolph
80 Lynchburg
Sat Dec 08
Final
73 Va. Wesleyan
55 Lynchburg
Sat Dec 29
Final
74 No. 16 Chris. Newport
65 Lynchburg
Lynchburg Holiday Classic -- Game 1
Sun Dec 30
Final
50 Meredith
69 Lynchburg
Lynchburg Holiday Classic -- Game 4
Sat Jan 05
Final
42 Lynchburg
53 at East. Mennonite
Mon Jan 07
Final
69 Washington and Lee
75 Lynchburg
Wed Jan 09
Final
50 Hollins
66 Lynchburg
Sat Jan 12
Final
59 Lynchburg
63 at No. 21 Emory & Henry
Wed Jan 16
Final
76 Guilford
85 Lynchburg
Sat Jan 19
Final
77 Lynchburg
68 at Bridgewater (Va.)
Wed Jan 23
Final
66 Lynchburg
55 at Randolph
Sat Jan 26
2:00 PM
Roanoke
Lynchburg
Alumni Day
Wed Jan 30
7:00 PM
Emory & Henry
Lynchburg
Wed Feb 06
5:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Ferrum
Sat Feb 09
3:00 PM
East. Mennonite
Lynchburg
Play4Kay Game
Wed Feb 13
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Roanoke
Sat Feb 16
2:00 PM
Shenandoah
Lynchburg
Senior Day | CODE RED Game
No Event
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