CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Cal State San Marcos senior Natalie Rodriguez places top five in the 5000m finals at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field National Championships on Saturday in Charlotte, N.C. at Irwin Belk Complex. With that fifth place finish, the Santa Clarita native earns her first All-American honors in track & field.
Rodriguez set herself up for success early on, staying with the top half of the group. Maintaining a solid position throughout the race, the women began to pick up the speed and create some distance between them. With the break, Rodriguez had to choose whether to stay behind or follow suit, she chose the latter and began to pick up the pace to keep her in the top five. As the race came to an end, the senior runner cruised in comfortably finishing with a time of 16:43.63
“Natalie was a little down after how the 1500m race ended on Thursday,” said CSUSM Cross Country and Track & Field Coach Head Coach Steve Scott. “Before the race started, I told her to shoot for top 8 and she did just that. She showed a lot of guts when the break happened and I couldn’t be more honored and proud to have coached a student-athlete like Natalie.”