Written by on March 10, 2021

Stephanie Martinez | KWU Student Media

Indoor Track and Field Conference was finally underway, and as confident as Tabetha Deines (JR/Salina, Kansas) was feeling going into her first meet day, there was also a sense of unsureness. There would only be a one event difference in comparison to her conference meet from last season, but this year would mean more intensity. With a handful of teammates out for the meet, Deines would be one of the few point scorers on the women’s side.

“It put a lot of pressure on people like my roommate [Stephanie Martinez (JR/El Paso, Texas)] this meet,” Deines said. “We knew that we had to show up in order to help our women’s team reach our team goal of placing in the top five that we had set in the very beginning of the season.”

Deines’ first race of the meet was the mile run, an event that she had just set a personal record in three weeks before at the Herschel Neil Invitational hosted by Northwest Missouri State. This was the first mile that Deines ran fresh the entire season, and came back almost two hours later and set another personal record in her 600 yard event. “I think it gave me confidence knowing that I would be able to survive more than one event,” Deines said. “Which was helpful considering I was going to be racing in such demanding events at the conference meet.”

Deines stated that she went in with a game plan as it got closer to her last mile race of the season. But as any runner would know, going in with a plan does not mean that it will always be executed the way you wish. Which was a realization for Deines after 200 meters into the race. “The plan was for me to lead the entire way through,” Deines said. “Coach [Kyle Hiser] told me that I needed to take control, but I didn’t want to play a back forth game with the girl in second who also wanted to lead the race in order to not waste more energy than I needed to.”
But with about 300 meters left to go, Deines took the lead and kept it the rest of the way through. Which allowed her to drop the girl in second place [Maddy Walter Sherretts (FR/University of Saint Mary)], finishing the race in a 5:11.95, two seconds ahead of Sherretts. “I was pretty tired after this race, but I still had another to go not too long afterwards,” Deines said. “It was actually pretty helpful in hindsight that I had another event because it allowed me to focus more on my recovery process rather than focusing on my exhaustion.”
Deines then went on to compete in the 1,000 meters, placing third with a time of 3:03.18, her second best time in this event. The following day she placed third in her two individual events, as well as setting personal records in those events. Her last event of the meet was the first leg of the 4×4 relay, where her team placed 9th overall. “Overall, I’m more than happy with the way the conference meet went for me,” Deines said. “I set high expectations for myself, and I believe I executed them the way I wanted.”
Deines will be going on to compete at the NAIA Women’s Indoor Track and Field National Championships on March 3rd at Mount Marty University in Yankton, South Dakota where she will be running the 800 meters.

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