Harley Sutton, sophomore and business major at Calumet College of St. Joseph, set a record of 2,888 points at the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC).
This Indoor Championship was held at Olivet Nazarene University on Feb.17-18.
“Before each event, I like to visualize how I would like to perform. For example, for high jump, I like to visualize where each step should be and my form going over the bar,” Sutton said.
This record gave Sutton the victory of the inaugural women’s indoor pentathlon.
Gratitude and love is what Sutton and her family feel towards this college-athletic experience she is going through.
“My family is so supportive in my sports, and they always have been. As a family, we are all appreciative that I’ve been lucky enough to have a sport that I love help pay for my education,” Sutton said.
According to CCSJ Athletic Director and Sutton’s Coach Rick Torres, the training regimen required to achieve such a dominating performance is extremely challenging and demands dedication.
“She’ll come at six in the morning and work with the throws coach. If she has a break during the day, she’ll come in and work on her high jump with me. After school she’ll do hurdle work,” Torres said. “when she arrives for training, she is laser focused and puts forth maximum effort.”
The women’s pentathlon consisted of five events: the 60-meter hurdle, the 800 meter run, the high jump, the long jump, and the shot put.
Sutton earned the highest scores in each of the five events, and her final score was more than 700 points above the second place winner.
“Such thing is difficult to do in multi-events. It’s rare that a single athlete will be good at such a variety of events,” Explained Assistant Coach Becky Leevey.
Sutton’s dedication and work ethic has gained the respect and admiration of the training staff as well as her peers.
“Her work ethic is second to none and she’s been that way since the moment she arrived at CCSJ.” Said Matthew Rosado, fellow athlete who trains with Sutton on a regular basis.
This event was Sutton’s third pentathlon this year. a clear experience advantage over competitors for whom this was their first pentathlon ever. Coaches were hoping that Ms. Sutton would earn more than 3200 points, which is Olivet Nazarene University’s field house record.
CCSJ’s athletic facility is small when compared to larger colleges.
It can’t dedicate a space to each of the events that Sutton participated in, so the coaching staff and Sutton herself had to get resourceful with her training.
“We don’t have a long jump pit so instead we use the high jump mats to replicate landings and use a box to mimic a toe board,” Rosado said.
Looking toward the future, during the month of April, Sutton is expected to participate in a heptathlon, which consists of seven events, so she can make her qualifying mark for Nationals.
Only 10 people have qualified so far this year and the qualifying score is 3,700 points for outdoor nationals.
“The outdoor season is underway, which means I’ll be competing in the heptathlon as opposed to the pentathlon,” Sutton explained. “It’s two more events and it’s now spread over two days instead of one. The ultimate goal is to make it to NAIA nationals this year in the heptathlon.”
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