ASHLAND (Ohio) – Former Buckhannon-Upshur track and field standout and current Ashland University Eagle Mackenzie Leigh is set to prepare to compete in the NCAA Division II Track and Field National Championships Thursday at Corpus Christi, Texas.
And she has one goal in sight – become a national champion!
Leigh is currently ranked second in the nation in the hammer throw with the potential to be standing as the best hammer thrower in the country when the national championships are over.
She told her school’s athletic website in a press release, “I never imagined that I would be in this position coming into school, so it’s just been a fun ride. I never thought that this would be an opportunity I would have when I first came here."
The senior will be competing against 19 other hammer throwers for a shot at the national title.
Her season best in the hammer throw came a month ago in the Ashland Alumni Open when she cleared 60 meters at 60.74 meters.
She is already a two-time All-American and adding a championship would be the cherry on top for Leigh.
She earned All-American honors with a fifth-place hammer throw in the 2018 outdoor season and an eighth-place finish in the 2018 indoor weight throw.
She is also a six-time Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference All-Academic Team member.
Leigh started her career at Ashland competing in the weight, shot, discus and hammer but now solely focuses on the hammer throw.
“It’s hard to do multiple things and I wanted to focus on something that I could be really good at,” she stated.
Leigh will be there with fellow hammer thrower Natalie Helenthal who also qualified for nationals.
Leigh, who has graduated with a degree in Exercise Science, is going to stay at Ashland University and be a student in the accelerated nursing program.