For Milligan sophomore Hannah Segrave, the Appalachian Athletic Conference Track and Field Championships is the next chance to impact the Lady Buffs’ record books.
The Great Britain native has continued the success of her freshman season all season long, including picking up where she left off during the indoor track season. So far during the outdoor season, Segrave won the 800-meters at the prestigious Tennessee Relays against a deep NCAA field.
The marks placed her No. 3 nationally in the NAIA, top 25 among Great Britain athletes and inside the top 30 among all collegians nationally.
Despite her early success, Milligan Head Coach Chris Layne thinks Segrave is just getting started on her assault on the Milligan record books.
“In coaching circles, you talk about know there is more room when the big chunks continue to fall off,” Layne said.“Certainly, she will level off at some point, and it will be my responsibility to make sure she gets to work to continue climbing the ladder towards being an extremely successful middle distance runner.”
The sophomore, however, wasn’t accustomed to the middle distance events. Prior to her collegiate career, she was mainly a sprinter, and notes it took a learning curve.
“The main difference for me this season was definitely having a year of experience under me so I had a better understanding of the race,” Segrave said. “The transition during the beginning was hard but I think it’s definitely helped me in the long term.”
Layne is also quick to point out Segrave is the next athlete in a line of talented runners through the storied Milligan program.
“I’ve always known our program has the potential to develop athletes at an extremely high level but it is hard to find athletes like Hannah,” Layne said. “She’s extremely special and she has a range of talent, and is only beginning to scratch the surface. She controls the larger portion of her destiny through talent, passion and her life process. We just make sure we navigate the ship in the right direction and I think this is where we’re very good.”
Segrave highlights a group of Buffaloes that are poised to make noise at the AAC meet.
“We have as much quality in 4-5 athletes than we’ve ever had, but we are young and I think the potential in this group will expose itself more in the next year than it necessarily will this week. I know our crew is very excited to compete.”
Taylor Tafelsky qualified for the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field nationals in the 1,500-meter run at the Tennessee Relays with a mark of 3:52.85. That time placed Tafelsky inside the Top 10 in the NAIA.
Freshman Joey Watson is coming off a personal best performance in the hammer throw, and is seeded ninth nationally in the shot put.
Brandon Ellis and Mackenzie Patten have qualified for the NAIA Championships in the marathon, and both are slated to compete during this week’s AAC meet.
While the AAC champion will be determined following the two-day meet, it doesn’t change the game plan of the Milligan program.
“Our plan remains the same as it has from day one – line our student-athletes up in a manner where this meet benefits their development and what is best for each one individually. If we win, it will be because we did it right and not because we spread someone thin to just score points.”
The AAC meet is set to get underway at Science Hill High School in Johnson City on Wednesday and run through Thursday afternoon.