Trinity Hansma’s silver medal helped lead to gold for her team.
Hansma, from Armstrong, finished second in the women’s high jump at the NAIA Track and Field Championships in Gulf Shores, Ala., and the eight points she earned in the event helped her UBC Thunderbirds win the women’s overall team title, completing a first-ever sweep for the school as the UBC men also won the team event.
The men’s team amassed an impressive championship total of 80 points, 27 ahead of runners-up William Carey University of Hattiesburg, Miss., for UBC’s second men’s NAIA title in the last three years.
UBC’s women’s team was in a battle down to the wire against Southern-New Orleans with the T-Birds coming out on top by three points, thanks to Hansma’s eight points early on the last day of competition, and a pair of clutch performances in the 5,000 metre final.
It’s the first NAIA championship for the T-Bird women following a second place finish in 2018.
“Trinity played a big part in us winning in her freshman year,” said UBC’s Laurier Primeau, named NAIA Coach of the Year.
“We only won by three points so Trinity’s eight points contributed significantly to the title. Without those eight points…even if she finished third she would have picked up six points which narrows the margin for victory.”
Hansma set a personal outdoor best of 1.73 metres – 5-feet-8-inches – and cleared that height on her second leap.
Fellow freshman Kyara Black from Michigan’s Spring Arbor University cleared 1.73m on her third jump. The two ladies had each cleared the first four heights with ease as neither missed on an attempt.
The bar was then raised to 1.76m (5-foot-9) with Hansma missing on all three attempts, and Black cleared the height on her third and final try. Had Black missed, Hansma would have won the gold medal.
“Both of these ladies are freshmen so I expect some real battles between them for the next few years,” said Primeau.
Hansma and Black cleared the first four heights with ease as neither competitor missed on an attempt.
The NAIA team title and silver medal capped off quite the freshman year for Hansma, whose 2018 season ended early when she had to have surgery following an injury suffered to her non-jumping leg while dancing.
“She did a good amount of full rehabbing her right knee so she could run without pain,” said Primeau. “The progress she’s made from surgery to winning a silver medal at the national championships is pretty remarkable.”
Hansma’s results have placed herself into the selection pool for the Pan Am U20 Athletics Championships in San José, Costa Rica July 19-21. Team Canada will be announced June 10.