Naperville, Illinois -- Senior Natalie Deacon joined an exclusive club in Lynchburg Women's Track & Field history as she earned All-American in the Mile at the 2017 NCAA Indoor Championships, finishing 7th with a time of 4:55.91. Deacon becomes the first female All-American since Ashley Palmer was an All-American in the Long Jump back in 2004 and only the 4th all-time in Lynchburg Women's Track & Field history.
Deacon said, "Earning the title of all-American this season was an incredibly surreal and humbling experience for me. Surreal because I truly did not expect to reach this level of fitness this quickly, and humbling because it is a blatant reminder to me of how God-given the gift of running is. I've worked very hard over the past few months to get where I am today, but I know that ultimately I am here because of the gifts I have been given. That humbles me to my core."
The West Chester, Pa. native not only became an All-American but reset the school record for a fourth time this season, this time blowing past her previous record by more than four whole seconds.
"The most challenging part of this season's journey for me has been destroying mental barriers. Having not run competitively since high school, I had to reconvince myself that I do have what it takes to be successful at a high level. So much of success in track comes from mental strength and belief, and it was a daily battle for me to recapture this mentality," said the All-American Deacon.
She will return to Lynchburg and rejoin her teammates who finished their first outdoor meet this past weekend in Wilmington, N.C. Both Hornet Track & Field programs will be traveling to Lexington, Va. for the Washington & Lee Carinval on March 18-19.