Deines finishes fifth in 800m, earns All-America status

YANKTON, S.D. – Tabetha Deines (JR/Salina, Kan.) became Kansas Wesleyan’s first NAIA Indoor Track All-American in 10 years as she finished fifth in the 800m at the NAIA Indoor Track National Championships on Friday.

“I couldn’t be more proud of Tabetha’s performance in the race,” Wesleyan head coach Kyle Hiser said. “We have been preparing for this almost since this time last year, and we came out and executed and got it done.”

Deines qualified eighth in Wednesday’s preliminary race with a time of 2:17.62, earning a spot in the finals.

In Friday’s final she shaved nearly two seconds off her qualifying time, finishing in 2:15.94, just 6-tenths of a second behind fourth place and less than a second from third place.

The race was also a bit of redemption for Deines, who fell in last year’s 800m preliminaries and missed the finals. Then there was COVID, which canceled the outdoor season before it could get started last spring.

“Honestly, I think I was a lot more nervous for the prelims and just getting through,” Deines said in an interview with the Salina Journal. “This morning I woke up and there were a lot of nerves still. I was a lot more confident for this race. I really was ready to take it on and everything.”

Deines and the Coyotes now turn their attention to the outdoor season which will begin later this month.