BELOIT—Aminah Crawford was back in her hometown Sunday and walked across the commencement stage as she graduated from Beloit College.
Saturday, fulfilled her mission to become an All-American in NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field competing in her final meet as a Buccaneer.
The Beloit Memorial High School graduate reached her main objective on Friday in the preliminaries of the 100-meter dash at the 2021 NCAA D-III Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro, N.C. Advancing to Saturday’s finals guaranteed her a top-eight finish and the All-American status that goes with it.
Crawford finished second in the first heat of the prelims, registering a time of 12.0 seconds. The top two from each of the three heats along with the next two fastest times advanced to the finals.
The senior sprinter then finished seventh overall in 12.15 seconds.
“I thought I did OK, but I think I could have done much better considering how warm it was there,” Crawford said. “I can’t dwell on it, though. I did what I did and being an All-American is pretty special.”
She became the sixth Buccaneer to earn All-American honors in women’s track and field history, joining teammate Eva Laun-Smith (2019-2020), Shellie Gazdik (2004), Stephanie Muller (2001), Laura Carpenter (1998) and Judy Logback (1995).
First place in the 100 went to Bailey Forsyth of Pacific Lutheran in 11.80, followed by Terrianna Black from Loras (11.95).
“The competition was terrific,” Crawford said. “They came from all over. The winner, Bailey, was from out west in Washington and we talked about weather and how difficult it was to train. Everyone was really friendly and it was just fun to run against them.”
Despite a senior season modified by COVID-19, Crawford enjoyed a tremendous senior season on the track. In early May, she posted the fifth-best time in the nation. Two weeks later, she won both the 100 and 200 at the 2021 Midwest Conference North Division Championship meet, earning Track Performer of the Meet honors.
The following week, Crawford competed in a “last chance” meet before the NCAAs, hosted by North Central College. She established a new school record with a time of 11.86 seconds to send her to nationals with the fourth-fastest time in the nation.
Next up? Grad school at Texas A&M.
“Who knows? Maybe I might want to walk on to the track team down there,” Crawford said with a chuckle. “I have some eligibility left. But they have some phenomenal athletes.”
• GARRETT COMPETES: UW-Whitewater freshman Shelvin Garrett II competed in two events at Nationals, the 4x100 relay and the triple jump.
The Warhawks’ team of Thomas Kelly, Dwayne Ford, Victor Rinaldi and Garrett finished 11th in the prelims in 41.65 seconds. Nine teams advanced to the finals.
Garrett, a freshman from Beloit Memorial, was 15th in the triple jump in 13.78 meters (44-11.5).