Mariona Ward, a two-time state track finalist and 2015 graduate of Smith-Cotton High School, is attending MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas.

Ward qualified for the 2015 Missouri Class 4 state track meet in four events: the 100-meter hurdles, 300-meter high hurdles, long jump and 4x100 meter relay. She finished ninth in the 300 high hurdles, seventh in long jump, fourth in the 100 meter hurdles and sixth in the relay. Ward finished 10th in both hurdle events in the 2014 meet.

At MidAmerica Nazarene, Ward will study psychology and participate in multiple events on the track team.

“It has been a pleasure to recruit Mariona to the MNU,” said MidAmerica Nazarene University Head Track Coach Nate Wiens. “She is an outstanding athlete who fits our culture and mission at MNU. She will add depth to our already strong hurdles and jump programs while bringing a great attitude and personality to our campus community.”

S-C Head Track Coach Brad Hagedorn said, “Our program is very proud of Mariona's accomplishments in the classroom and on the track. She has set a wonderful example for the other kids on our team. We wish her much success at MNU."

(Courtesy of Sedalia School District)