UTC Runner Teghan Henderson Competes at NCAA East Region

SoCon Runner of the Year competes in 5,000

Friday, May 30, 2014 - by B.B. Branton

The Henderson family from Pickering, Ontario has two All-American medals and UTC runner Teghan Henderson has a goal of adding number three this summer.

The 5-5, 18-year-old redshirt freshman’s goal of that third A-A medal for the family trophy case begins Saturday as she competes in the 5,000 meters (8:45 p.m.) at the NCAA East Region Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Jacksonville, Fla.

The top 12 finishers (top five in each of two heats and the next two fastest times) advance to the NCAA D-I Track and Field Championships, June 11-14 in Eugene, Ore.

Her father, Randy Henderson, earned the family’s first national medal as he placed eighth at the NAIA national wrestling tournament in 1985 for Simon Fraser Univ. (Burnaby, B.C.). He was also a seven-time city champion from grade school through high school and won the junior Canadian title in 1982.

His daughter carries an impressive resume to the starting line Saturday night as she won both the Southern Conference 10,000 (SoCon record) and 5,000 meter championships in April and also was an NCAA All-American in cross country this past fall.

Her championship efforts earned her SoCon Cross Country Runner of the Year and SoCon Freshman of the Year for Outdoor Track.

With both events at the East Region held only 48 hours apart, Henderson decided on the 5,000 earlier this week.

“Teghan is as ready as she can be,” said UTC track and field coach Bill Gautier. “She has been training strong, she is tough and I know she will give it her best.”

Not only has she given her best at running, but also in the classroom as she carries a 3.87 grade point average in accounting with a 4.0 last spring

While she has successfully navigated her way to a high GPA and to championships in cross country and track (indoor and outdoor), she needed a map and maybe a GPS while in high school to locate Chattanooga.

“I received a letter from coach Gautier and my first thought was ‘where the heck is Chattanooga,’” said Henderson whose 2011 area cross country championship for Dunbarton High School drew the attention of college coaches.

“At first I thought Chattanooga was in northern Canada, but I quickly found out UTC was in Tennessee,” she said with a laugh.

 “On my visit to Chattanooga, I really bonded with the runners on the team and thoroughly enjoyed the city which is a perfect size for me.”

Coach Gautier hopes that her recent running success is a catalyst for a top 12 finish. Then he will gladly loan her a GPS and a map for the trip to the NCAAs in Eugene in two weeks. 

contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@comcast.net

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