MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) -The MSU Mavericks were set to be well represented at this year's NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships before the competition was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
MSU fifth-year senior Autumn Santos has qualified for three national meets in her time with the Mavericks, back in 2017, the sprinter earned All-American honors as part of the Maverick 4x100 meter relay team that finished sixth in the outdoor national championships.
But the success didn’t come without its fair share of adversity as Santos worked her way back from a couple of tough injuries.
“My freshman year, I tore my left hip, unfortunately, and my senior year, I ended up tearing my right hip, my labrum. It’s more of a mental thing, it’s kind of tough, and I just made it a fact that this would be my best year because it’s my last year of track. I’m super blessed to make it to nationals,” said Santos, MSU senior.
Santos qualified for the indoor championships in the 4x400 meter relay team this season. That group held the sixth-fastest time in the nation, which is something even Santos couldn’t have predicted coming into the season.
“You’re supposed to put all these goals out there, but I didn’t know this would be a realistic goal. That’s why it’s so special, to come back from two hip surgeries and be on the national list. That’s really neat,” said Santos.
Despite having the indoor championships canceled, there’s still a lot to be proud of by all 18 Mavericks that qualified for the competition this season.