Some people prefer to be the hunted and some prefer to be the hunter, but Kennesaw State’s heptathlete Naomi Mack can deal with either.
“It motivates me to come into the meet as the defending champion, but on the other hand I never really worry about my opponents and their performances I just try to focus on performing my best in each event.”
At last year’s meet, Mack entered her first A-Sun heptathlon with her only previous championship experience being a seventh-place finish in the 400-meter dash and a runner-up spot in the 4x400m as a freshman. However, Mack performed as a season veteran in the seven events with top-three finishes in every event except one and added a first-place finish in the 800m.
Her well-rounded performance gave Mack the gold medal in the heptathlon to go along with the A-Sun Championship Meet record by 300 points. Mack narrowly defeated Jacksonville’s Tiffany Bromfield by seven points, but had to storm back as the hunter from a 221-point deficit after day one to earn the gold medal.
In this championship, Mack begins day two on the other end of the spectrum as the hunted, leading her closest competitor by 164 points only three events remaining. Her event wins in the 100m hurdles and shot put have already trumped her win total from last season, but more importantly to Mack she has performed better three of the four events thus far.
“It’s a different mindset for me because if I can go into a meet and set a personal record in each of my events, but still not win then I feel better than if I win the heptathlon but don’t set any personal records.”
Tomorrow, Mack can get the best of both worlds by wrapping up the A-Sun Championship with a heptathlon gold medal as well as new personal records.