New Mexico Highlands' Salcia Slack and Johnson C Smith's Samantha Elliott to be inducted into NCAA Division II Hall of Fame

By Sports Desk May 25, 2022
New Mexico Highlands' Salcia Slack and Johnson C Smith's Samantha Elliott to be inducted into NCAA Division II Hall of Fame USTFCCCA

Jamaican athletes Salcia Slack and Samantha Elliott are among eight former NCAA Division II champion athletes who are to be inducted into the USTFCCCA NCAA Division II Hall of Fame Class of 2022, it was announced on Wednesday.

Slack represented New Mexico Highlands University as a multi-eventer while Elliott was a standout at Johnson C Smith University where she thrived under the tutelage of Coach Lennox Graham.

Slack is the first athlete from New Mexico Highlands inducted into the USTFCCCA NCAA DII Track & Field Athlete Hall of Fame.

“I am very thankful for this induction. I know I have worked hard. I cried, I suffered in many ways but I never gave up, no matter what, so I am elated for this,” Slack, now a member of the USA military, told Sportsmax.TV shortly after the Class of 2022 announcement was made on Wednesday.

According to the USTFCCCA, Slack left her mark in a big way at the 2015 NCAA DII Outdoor Championships. Over the span of three days in Allendale, Michigan, she won the heptathlon for the second year in a row, took runner-up honours in both the 100- and 400-meter hurdles, finished sixth in the open long jump and helped New Mexico Highlands take fourth in the 4×400 relay, amassing 30.25 points.

If Slack competed alone, she would have finished seventh in the team standings. That wasn’t the case, though: Slack led the Cowgirls to their first top-4 finish at the Outdoor Championships in program history (NMHU also took third indoors thanks to another sterling effort by Slack.

“I decided that I wanted to take on all these events and I was determined to make the finals in all of them, she recalled.

“The event that stood out for me was running the 400m hurdles for the first time and finishing second.”

She also had bitter-sweet memories of competing indoors in 2014.

“The 2014 Indoor Championships was one of my best and scariest. I got sick that very morning and was told that I wasn’t able to compete and I begged the medics to give me the chance and they did. I went out there to do me and I exceeded what my body was telling me I could do.”’

In addition to 16 total All-America honours, multitudes of conference titles and multiple National and Regional Athlete of the Year laurels from the USTFCCCA, Slack’s name dots the NCAA DII record book. Slack stands alone at the top of the heptathlon all-time chart as the only athlete to amass more than 6000 points (6141, to be exact) and also holds the third-best total (5833); she is the No. 3 performer in the pentathlon at 4181 points – barely missing the NCAA DII record of 4193 points – and owns the No. 4 (4193), No. 5 (4172) and No. 6 (4149) all-time performances.

Elliott was simply outstanding for Johnson C Smith.

In three-straight All-Academic years at Johnson C. Smith, Elliott not only earned 17 NCAA Division II All-America awards, but also a Bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems.

On the track, Elliott was a versatile performer on Golden Bulls teams that finished runner-up three times at the NCAA Division II Track & Field Championships: indoors and outdoors in 2013; outdoors in 2014.

 She ran sprints and relays, but her speciality was the hurdles – she was top-three in both the 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles all three years at the DII Outdoor, winning the 400h twice (2013 and 2014) and 100H once (2014, with a lifetime best of 13.04).

Her 2013 winning time of 56.38 in the 400 hurdles was a meet record and still rates No. 3 all-time among DII athletes.

On relays, Elliott was a national champion two more times, including anchoring the 2013 JCSU 4×100 unit that set the still-standing meet record of 44.05. Her collegiate career included two Penn Relays titles in the 400H and five individual CIAA titles (three in the 100H and two in the 400H).

Elliott is the fourth athlete from Johnson C. Smith to be inducted into the NCAA Division II Track & Field Athlete Hall of Fame.

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