Deacon prepared for outdoor track nationals

Natalie Deacon prepares to start a race on a track.

La Crosse, Wis. -- Don't consider it a victory lap.

Or even four victory laps.

For Lynchburg College graduate student Natalie Deacon, this week's trip to the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be much more than that.

Deacon will hit the track at the Veteran's Memorial Field Sports Complex on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in search of her fourth-career All-America performance with a chance to repeat the honor in the 1,500-meter run. Deacon placed seventh in the event at nationals in 2017, but she remains hungry for success.

The quest begins with the preliminary race Thursday, May 24 at 2:45 p.m. CDT (3:45 Eastern). She will run in the second of two heats.

The top four runners from each heat along with the next four top times will advance to the 12-woman final. Should she advance, that race will take place Saturday, May 26 at 12:35 p.m. CDT (1:35 Eastern).

Deacon's career accolades thus far would eclipse the wildest dreams of many Division III athletes -- countless individual awards and a national championship in women's soccer paired with three mid-distance All-America performances between indoor and outdoor track -- but the West Chester, Pa., native is still hungry for more. She's been clear: Making it back to nationals is just the beginning.

"That's not great to me," Deacon said of qualifying. "I'm really pumped to just go out there, lay it on the line, and fight for every inch."

Part of the motivation is a showing she deemed lackluster in the 1-mile at the Division III indoor championships this winter. She placed sixth in the event and defended her All-America honor in the event, but she didn't feel as though she ran her best race.

"I was actually really disappointed with my performance," Deacon said. "And it wasn't because of my time, and it wasn't because of the place. I was just how I ran the race; I wasn't satisfied with it."

This time, with the twilight of her career looming, she knows to leave nothing in the tank.

"I just want to run with courage and run my heart out," she said. "And I think I'll be really proud of that result."

Deacon has already accomplished much in the 2018 outdoor season. She helped lead the Hornet women to an Old Dominion Athletic Conference team championship, the program's first since 2011, with a win in the 800-meter run and second in the 1,500 and 5,000. She was an All-South/Southeast Region performer (top three time) in the 800 and 1,500 and met the NCAA qualifying mark for both events, electing to compete only in the 1,500 in La Crosse.

She enters the national meet ranked 23rd in the 1,500 and 11th in the 800.

Prior to continuing her running career, she was a stalwart on the back line for the Lynchburg women's soccer team and helped the program to the national title in 2014. She was All-ODAC, all-state, all-region, and Academic All-America on the pitch. She took up track & field when her soccer career ended and didn't miss a beat, becoming an All-American in the indoor 1-mile with a seventh-place finish as a senior and finishing seventh in the 1,500 at outdoor nationals in 2017. She also earned another CoSIDA Academic All-American title, becoming the first athlete in Lynchburg history to win the award in two sports.

"It's just been such a cool journey," Deacon said. "I ran track in high school, and coming back to it has just been kind of like a full-circle thing."

Continuing with soccer as a graduate assistant at Lynchburg, Deacon elected to use her final year of eligibility on the track as well in what's turned into a whirlwind year. The Hornets won another ODAC title on the pitch in the fall, and she continued to break records when track season rolled around; Deacon now holds the program records in the indoor 800, 1-mile, 3,000, and distance medley relay and outdoor 800 and 1,500.

But true to form, she hasn't let herself be satisfied with success.

"It really has shaped me as a person," she said of the new challenge, "but I also think that there's a lot of unfinished business."

Should she finish in the top eight this time around, Deacon will become the first four-time All-American in Lynchburg women's track & field history.

Follow this link to watch the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships' live webcast. Live results from the meet can be found here.

--LC--

No Event
No Event
Mon Oct 22
O'Briant-Jensen Memorial, Sedgefield CC, Dye Course, Greensboro, N.C. - Day 1
Tue Oct 23
10th/18
O'Briant-Jensen Memorial, Sedgefield CC, Dye Course, Greensboro, N.C. - Day 2
Tue Oct 23
Final
4 No. 10 Lynchburg
0 at Shenandoah
Tue Oct 23
Final - 2OT
2 No. 15 Lynchburg
2 at Va. Wesleyan
Wed Oct 24
Final
3 Lynchburg
1 at Va. Wesleyan
Wed Oct 24
Final
3 Lynchburg
0 at Guilford
Fri Oct 26
Final
6 No. 6 South Carolina
2 Lynchburg
Fri Oct 26
Final
1 Randolph
3 Lynchburg
Senior Night/CODE RED Match -- Rescheduled from Sept. 15
Fri Oct 26
Final
3 Southern Virginia
2 Lynchburg
Senior Night
Sat Oct 27
ODAC Championships
@ Winchester, Va.
Sat Oct 27
6th/8
Bridgewater IHSA
Sat Oct 27
Final
1 Washington and Lee
4 Lynchburg
Senior Day | CODE RED Game
Sat Oct 27
Final
0 Ferrum
4 No. 15 Lynchburg
Senior Night
Sun Oct 28
Final
0 Randolph
3 No. 10 Lynchburg
Game 4 - ODAC Quarterfinals
Wed Oct 31
Final - 2OT
1 Washington and Lee
2 No. 15 Lynchburg
Game 5 - ODAC Quarterfinals
Wed Oct 31
Final
1 Lynchburg
3 at Bridgewater (Va.)
Match 4 - ODAC Quarterfinals
Fri Nov 02
Final
1 Roanoke
3 Lynchburg
Game 3 - ODAC Semifinals
Fri Nov 02
Final - OT
0 Washington and Lee
1 vs. Shenandoah
@ Lynchburg, Va. Game 4 - ODAC Semifinals
Sat Nov 03
7th/8
Randolph IHSA
Sat Nov 03
Final
5 No. 16 Lynchburg
1 vs. Randolph-Macon
@ Bridgewater, Va. Game 7 - ODAC Semifinals
Sat Nov 03
Final
1 Bridgewater (Va.)
0 No. 10 Lynchburg
Game 7 - ODAC Semifinals
Sat Nov 03
Final
2 Shenandoah
7 Lynchburg
Game 5 - ODAC Championship
Sun Nov 04
Final
0 Va. Wesleyan
3 vs. No. 16 Lynchburg
@ Bridgewater, Va. Game 8 - ODAC Championship
Wed Nov 07
Final
1 No. 20 Denison
3 Lynchburg
NCAA Division III Tournament -- First Round
Thu Nov 08
Final
57 Ferrum
75 Lynchburg
Non-Conference Game
Sat Nov 10
Men 6th/Women 7th
NCAA South/Southeast Region Championships
@ Mount Berry, Ga.
Sat Nov 10
7th/8
Lynchburg IHSA
CODE RED Day
Sat Nov 10
Final
0 Lynchburg
1 at No. 3 Rowan
NCAA Division III Tournament - Second Round
Sat Nov 10
Final
1 Piedmont
2 No. 17 Lynchburg
NCAA Division III Tournament - First Round
Sat Nov 10
Final
52 N.C. Wesleyan
80 Lynchburg
Note time change
Sun Nov 11
Final
80 St. Mary's (Md.)
83 Lynchburg
Sun Nov 11
Final
0 No. 22 Emory
2 No. 17 Lynchburg
NCAA Division III Tournament - Second Round
Tue Nov 13
Final
60 Averett
52 Lynchburg
Fri Nov 16
Final
69 Moravian
63 vs. Lynchburg
@ Union, N.J.
Fri Nov 16
Final - PK Away
2 No. 17 Lynchburg
2 vs. No. 2 Messiah
@ Newport News, Va. NCAA Division III Tournament - Third Round
Sat Nov 17
NCAA Division III Championships
@ Winneconne, Wis.
Sat Nov 17
Final - 2OT
79 Lynchburg
83 at Kean
Sat Nov 17
Final
48 Randolph
60 Lynchburg
Sat Nov 17
Final
0 No. 17 Lynchburg
1 at No. 8 Chris. Newport
NCAA Division III Tournament - Quarterfinals
Tue Nov 20
Final
49 Lynchburg
64 at Mary Washington
Sun Nov 25
Final
72 East. Mennonite
87 Lynchburg
Tue Nov 27
Final
68 Lynchburg
60 at Washington and Lee
Wed Nov 28
Final
66 Emory & Henry
87 Lynchburg
Thu Nov 29
Final
55 Lynchburg
58 at Randolph-Macon
Fri Nov 30
Bast-Cregger Invitational
@ Roanoke College, Salem, Va.
Sat Dec 01
Bast-Cregger Invitational
@ Roanoke College, Salem, Va.
Sat Dec 01
Final
48 Randolph
82 vs. No. 22 Chris. Newport
@ Lynchburg, Va. (Turner Gymnasium) Wayne Proffitt Classic -- Game 1
Sat Dec 01
Final
64 Mary Washington
69 Lynchburg
Wayne Proffitt Classic -- Game 2
Sun Dec 02
Final
66 Randolph
75 vs. Mary Washington
@ Lynchburg, Va. Wayne Proffitt Classic -- Game 3
Sun Dec 02
Final
74 Lynchburg
62 at Shenandoah
Sun Dec 02
Final
64 No. 22 Chris. Newport
77 Lynchburg
Wayne Proffitt Classic -- Game 4 | CODE RED Game
Wed Dec 05
Final
78 No. 22 Lynchburg
82 at Guilford
Wed Dec 05
Final
54 Randolph
80 Lynchburg
Sat Dec 08
Final
78 No. 22 Lynchburg
76 at Methodist
Sat Dec 08
Final
73 Va. Wesleyan
55 Lynchburg
Sun Dec 16
4:00 PM
McDaniel
Lynchburg
Sat Dec 29
2:00 PM
Muskingum
vs. Lynchburg
@ Guilford College, Greensboro, N.C. Guilford Classic
Sat Dec 29
2:00 PM
Chris. Newport
Lynchburg
Lynchburg Holiday Classic
Sun Dec 30
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
vs. Greensboro
@ Guilford College, Greensboro, N.C. Guilford Classic
Sun Dec 30
4:00 PM
Meredith
Lynchburg
Lynchburg Holiday Classic
Tue Jan 01
4:00 PM
Averett
Lynchburg
Sat Jan 05
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at East. Mennonite
Sat Jan 05
4:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Shenandoah
Mon Jan 07
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee
Lynchburg
Wed Jan 09
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Emory & Henry
Wed Jan 09
7:00 PM
Hollins
Lynchburg
Sat Jan 12
2:00 PM
Va. Wesleyan
Lynchburg
Sat Jan 12
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Emory & Henry
Wed Jan 16
7:00 PM
Guilford
Lynchburg
Thu Jan 17
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Washington and Lee
Fri Jan 18
VMI Keydet Invitational
@ Lexington, Va.
Sat Jan 19
VMI Keydet Invitational
@ Lexington, Va.
Sat Jan 19
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Bridgewater (Va.)
Sat Jan 19
6:00 PM
Lynchburg
at East. Mennonite
Wed Jan 23
7:00 PM
Guilford
Lynchburg
Coaches vs. Cancer Week
Wed Jan 23
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Randolph
Fri Jan 25
Liberty University Kickoff
@ Lynchburg, Va.
Sat Jan 26
Liberty University Kickoff
@ Lynchburg, Va.
Sat Jan 26
2:00 PM
Roanoke
Lynchburg
Alumni Day
Sat Jan 26
4:30 PM
Randolph-Macon
Lynchburg
Alumni Day/Coaches vs. Cancer Week
No Event
No Event
No Event
View Full Schedule
No events to show.
No Event
Thu Nov 08
Final
57 Ferrum
75 Lynchburg
Non-Conference Game
Sun Nov 11
Final
80 St. Mary's (Md.)
83 Lynchburg
Sat Nov 17
Final
48 Randolph
60 Lynchburg
Sun Nov 25
Final
72 East. Mennonite
87 Lynchburg
Wed Nov 28
Final
66 Emory & Henry
87 Lynchburg
Sat Dec 01
Final
48 Randolph
82 vs. No. 22 Chris. Newport
@ Lynchburg, Va. (Turner Gymnasium) Wayne Proffitt Classic -- Game 1
Sat Dec 01
Final
64 Mary Washington
69 Lynchburg
Wayne Proffitt Classic -- Game 2
Sun Dec 02
Final
66 Randolph
75 vs. Mary Washington
@ Lynchburg, Va. Wayne Proffitt Classic -- Game 3
Sun Dec 02
Final
64 No. 22 Chris. Newport
77 at Lynchburg
Wayne Proffitt Classic -- Game 4 | CODE RED Game
Wed Dec 05
Final
78 No. 22 Lynchburg
82 at Guilford
Sat Dec 08
Final
78 No. 22 Lynchburg
76 at Methodist
Sun Dec 16
4:00 PM
McDaniel
Lynchburg
Sat Dec 29
2:00 PM
Muskingum
vs. Lynchburg
@ Guilford College, Greensboro, N.C. Guilford Classic
Sun Dec 30
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
vs. Greensboro
@ Guilford College, Greensboro, N.C. Guilford Classic
Tue Jan 01
4:00 PM
Averett
Lynchburg
Sat Jan 05
4:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Shenandoah
Wed Jan 09
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Emory & Henry
Sat Jan 12
2:00 PM
Va. Wesleyan
Lynchburg
Thu Jan 17
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Washington and Lee
Sat Jan 19
6:00 PM
Lynchburg
at East. Mennonite
Wed Jan 23
7:00 PM
Guilford
Lynchburg
Coaches vs. Cancer Week
Sat Jan 26
4:30 PM
Randolph-Macon
Lynchburg
Alumni Day/Coaches vs. Cancer Week
No Event
No Event
View Full Schedule
No Event
No Event
Sat Nov 10
Final
52 N.C. Wesleyan
80 Lynchburg
Note time change
Tue Nov 13
Final
60 Averett
52 Lynchburg
Fri Nov 16
Final
69 Moravian
63 vs. Lynchburg
@ Union, N.J.
Sat Nov 17
Final - 2OT
79 Lynchburg
83 at Kean
Tue Nov 20
Final
49 Lynchburg
64 at Mary Washington
Tue Nov 27
Final
68 Lynchburg
60 at Washington and Lee
Thu Nov 29
Final
55 Lynchburg
58 at Randolph-Macon
Sun Dec 02
Final
74 Lynchburg
62 at Shenandoah
Wed Dec 05
Final
54 Randolph
80 Lynchburg
Sat Dec 08
Final
73 Va. Wesleyan
55 Lynchburg
Sat Dec 29
2:00 PM
Chris. Newport
Lynchburg
Lynchburg Holiday Classic
Sun Dec 30
4:00 PM
Meredith
Lynchburg
Lynchburg Holiday Classic
Sat Jan 05
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at East. Mennonite
Mon Jan 07
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee
Lynchburg
Wed Jan 09
7:00 PM
Hollins
Lynchburg
Sat Jan 12
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Emory & Henry
Wed Jan 16
7:00 PM
Guilford
Lynchburg
Sat Jan 19
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Bridgewater (Va.)
Wed Jan 23
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Randolph
Sat Jan 26
2:00 PM
Roanoke
Lynchburg
Alumni Day
No Event
No Event
No Event
View Full Schedule
No events to show.
No events to show.
No Event
No Event
Tue Oct 23
Final
4 No. 10 Lynchburg
0 at Shenandoah
Sun Oct 28
Final
0 Randolph
3 No. 10 Lynchburg
Game 4 - ODAC Quarterfinals
Sat Nov 03
Final
1 Bridgewater (Va.)
0 No. 10 Lynchburg
Game 7 - ODAC Semifinals
View Full Schedule
No Event
Tue Oct 23
Final - 2OT
2 No. 15 Lynchburg
2 at Va. Wesleyan
Sat Oct 27
Final
0 Ferrum
4 No. 15 Lynchburg
Senior Night
Wed Oct 31
Final - 2OT
1 Washington and Lee
2 No. 15 Lynchburg
Game 5 - ODAC Quarterfinals
Sat Nov 03
Final
5 No. 16 Lynchburg
1 vs. Randolph-Macon
@ Bridgewater, Va. Game 7 - ODAC Semifinals
Sun Nov 04
Final
0 Va. Wesleyan
3 vs. No. 16 Lynchburg
@ Bridgewater, Va. Game 8 - ODAC Championship
Sat Nov 10
Final
1 Piedmont
2 No. 17 Lynchburg
NCAA Division III Tournament - First Round
Sun Nov 11
Final
0 No. 22 Emory
2 No. 17 Lynchburg
NCAA Division III Tournament - Second Round
Fri Nov 16
Final - PK Away
2 No. 17 Lynchburg
2 vs. No. 2 Messiah
@ Newport News, Va. NCAA Division III Tournament - Third Round
Sat Nov 17
Final
0 No. 17 Lynchburg
1 at No. 8 Chris. Newport
NCAA Division III Tournament - Quarterfinals
View Full Schedule