By Rob Kiser
AKRON — After an All-American performance in the Indoor Nationals in the winter in the NCAA Division I indoor track and field season, former Covington state champion Jackie Siefring hasn’t slowed down in the spring.
Siefring was recently named the Female MVP of the Mid-American Conference meet while competing for Akron, helping the Lady Zips to a second-place finish in the team standings.
“It is not something I thought a lot about,” Siefring said. “I just wanted to do my best and score as many points for my team as I could.”
Siefring dominated the heptathlon — an event she has already qualified for nationals for — winning with a score of 5,412.
On the opening day of the three-day meet, she started the heptathlon by winning the high jump, 5-5 3-4; and 200, 24.62; while placing second in the 100 hurdles, 14.06; and third in the shot put, 38-1 1-4.
On the second day, she won the long jump, 19-0 3-4; took third in the 800, 2:28.37; and was fourth in the javelin, 113-3.
“I was hoping to get off to a fast start the first day,” she said. “I was hoping to be in a position where I didn’t have to run a fast time in the 800 and that is the way it worked out.”
Maybe even more impressive was her win in the 400 hurdles, following up the heptathlon with a winning time of 58.66.
She also teamed with Kiara Chatman, Samia Bell and Sydney Stokes for seventh in the 1,600 relay, 3:50.0.
“I came in with the number one seed (in the 400 hurdles),” Siefring said. “But, it has been a long season and after having done seven events in the Hep, I wasn’t sure how much I would have left in my legs. So, I was happy to be able to get that win.”
While Siefring has already qualified for nationals in the heptathlon, she will compete in the regionals in the long jump.
“This is the time of the year where it seems like it has been a really long season with indoors and outdoors,” Siefring said. “This last month is a long month. In the Hep (heptathlon), you just automatically qualify on scores because they feel it would be unfair to ask competitors to do seven events in the regionals and nationals that close together.”
She said the indoor nationals was a learning experience. The outdoor nationals is set for Eugene, Oregon in June.
“I hope I am not as nervous as I was at indoor nationals,” Siefring said. “It really felt intimidating at indoor nationals, so hopefully I won’t feel that way again.”
Siefring admits she has no idea where she is ranked.
“I got my qualifying score early in the season,” she said. “I don’t really worry about that. I let my coach take care of all that.”
Siefring made a decision — along with her coach — not to run the 400 hurdles at regionals.
“It is not like high school, where you can qualify for multiple events and then scratch from one,” Siefring said. “If you qualify, you have to run it. And I was not going to run it at nationals. That would basically be a meaningless event for me at that point (after doing the heptathlon).”
She has high hopes in the long jump.
“I feel like I have a good chance,” she said. “I finished 19th last year and they take the top 12 to nationals. It is just a matter of doing one of my best jumps. I am already going to nationals in the Hep, so anything else would just be icing on the cake.”
Just like the earning MVP honors at the MAC meet.