Hagans at Eugene

Murray State's Rachel Hagans takes to the sky Thursday evening for an attempt in the 2022 NCAA Track & Field Championships at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene. Hagans finished 12th, giving her Second Team All-American status.

EUGENE, Ore. — Murray State’s Rachel Hagans became a Second Team All-America Thursday night with a solid performance at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Finals in Eugene, Oregon.

 The Ohio Valley Conference champion and record holder had a best jump of 6.23m to place 12th in the nation among the 24 competitors from NCAA D-I that qualified for the finals. Her second and third attempts brought distances of 6.13m and 6.15m.

 Hagans placed ahead of LaQwasia Stepney (Nebraska) at 6.22m and one spot behind Titiana Marsh (Georgia) at 6.26m. The top-5 at the NCAA finals included Jasmine Moore (Florida) 6.72m, Tyra Gittens (Texas) 6.57m, Monae’ Nichols (Texas Tech) 6.54m, Claire Bryant (Florida) 6.51m and Deborah Acquah (Texas A&M) 6.40m.

 The challenge and experience of a lifetime is something Hagans says she will never forget.

 “Today was very interesting with the time change,” Hagans recalled. “I woke up late for our time (local time at Murray), but felt really good and then got a nap, so I was well rested. Overall I was taking the time to breathe it in and not stress about it.”

 Hagans thanked MSU jumps coach Kelsey Riggins as coach and student-athlete made a plan each week and carried it out.

 “From the OVC, to regionals and the finals, we concentrated on my arm movements and driving my left leg up on my jumps,” Hagans said. “Trying to finish each try very strong and understanding that I have control of my body and can control if I am doing it correctly. Honestly, being here with all the big names and now I am one of them, that made it to the finals, it’s amazing. I finished 12th and I wanted to finish higher, but this was a moment that I’ll never forget. I miss my teammates so much and thank them for supporting me. Coach Riggins helped me calm down and Coach Kielser helped me to not over think it today.”

 “I just want to congratulate Rachel and Coach Riggins on a great year and being Second Team All-America,” said Murray State head coach Adam Kiesler. “When you think about where she was four years ago and where she is now, that took a lot of work and she put the work in. I am looking forward to next year for her.”

 Hagans, who has another year to compete at MSU in 2023, finishes her 2022 indoor and outdoor seasons with a multitude of awards including winning five OVC championships including the indoor long jump and 60m and outdoor long jump, 100m and she was part of the 4x400 relay team that won a championship. She helped the Racers win both OVC team championships. Hagans set the Murray State outdoor long jump record with a leap of 6.59m as the Murray State record that had stood for 41 years fell.

 Hagans, a native of Tampa, isn’t finished. She will compete in the USA Championships (June 23-25) in Eugene, with a chance to represent the USA at the World Track & Field Championships.

 Hagans was the first student-athlete from Murray State to reach the NCAA Finals since 2012, when MSU Hall of Famer Alexis Love did it in the 100m where she placed sixth. In the summer of 2012, Love also competed in the USA Olympic Trials in the 100m and the 200m. Love was inducted into the Murray State Hall of Fame in 2019.