Henderson breaks four school records, grabs national attention

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (Feb. 2) – Senior women’s indoor track and field athlete Katherine Henderson now holds four Waynesburg University track records after a dominant performance at the Youngstown State Mid-Major Jan. 27.

“We saw something we probably had never seen before,” Waynesburg head coach Christ Hardie said. “Four school records in seven hours, it’s unreal.”

Henderson set school records for the high jump (5-feet-2.25), long jump (17-feet-9.75), 60-meter hurdles (9.39 seconds), and pentathlon score (3,229 points). She finished second of 31 in the pentathlon, eight points behind the leader.

“I feel grateful that it happened,” Henderson said. “I just trusted God all the way through and tried my best.”

Assistant coach Bill Lubich, who works closest with Henderson on the coaching staff, has coached track & field for over 50 years. He believes this is the first time he’s seen anything like this in his career. 

“I’ve never witnessed that in my career,” Lubich said. “And probably never will again.”

Lubich also credited Henderson for her coachability.

“She’s just a pleasure to coach,” Lubich said. “When you go to correct her on technique, she’ll make that correction the first attempt. It’s not like she has to overcome muscle memory. She just does it instantly which is very rare.”

Henderson’s performance comes in a meet that was considered an “off-week” by Hardie and Lubich. Only twelve athletes competed for Waynesburg at the Mid-Major. Many of them didn’t get a day to get ready, according to Hardie, with Henderson being the exception.

The new record holder didn’t know where she placed in the event until the next day. She instead focused on being in the moment and thinking about each event as it came. 

“I never cared about the placing,” Henderson said. “I just wanted to try and be the best version of myself I could that day.”

And with her performance, Henderson has received national recognition, moving into place to reach the national championships for DIII track & field. She currently sits 10th nationally as only the top 20 in the nation qualify. 

“It’s something to keep an eye on as the weeks progress,” Hardie said. 

Lubich continued to praise Henderson for her ability to train hard for these events despite a busy schedule filled with school and internship work and not having the same resources as some of her DI and DII competition.

“To her credit, she’s just an overachiever,” Lubich said. “She owns her training. She was training at a school that doesn’t offer her the facilities to train, and it’s amazing.”

Henderson cites God and her coaches for her success in the pentathlon. She mentioned how Lubich stressed visualizing herself in the event and the mental aspects of competing. She also credits her teammate, junior Audrey Doby, for encouraging her and being there the whole time.