Brissia Montalvo cemented her legacy and will surely be considered a pioneer in the near future of the Midwestern State track & field and cross country programs.
The 5-6 senior from El Paso garnered All-South Central Region status from the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association Tuesday. On top of that, she was accepted for the 17-member field of the 3,000-meter Steeplechase set at the NCAA Division II Championships at the ThunderBowl in Pueblo, Colo. from May 24-26.
Both are firsts for the Midwestern State program.
"This is awesome and well deserved," MSU coach Koby Styles said. "It's a pretty neat deal with the first year of the program and we're having this kind of success. That goes back to Brissia and how hard she has worked. She's busted her rear since she's been here. I'm lucky she's on our team and I get to coach her."
Montalvo has set a high level of excellence since transferring from El Paso Community College prior to her junior season.
She became MSU's second cross country All American last fall after leading the Mustangs to a South Central Region championship and an 11th-place showing at nationals.
Montalvo is a two-time all-region performer in cross country while helping Midwestern to consecutive Lone Star Conference titles after earning the league's Runner of the Year accolade in 2011.
She continued her run at history on the oval this spring, improving on her personal best in the 3,000-meter Steeplechase throughout the season including a gutsy 10:41.04 performance with an injured foot at the West Coast Invitational last weekend in Salem, Ore.
"In one race, she was able to take off 14 seconds off of her personal best," Styles said. "You throw her into one race and anything can happen. Brissia has also run at her best in the bigger races. She's a big time gamer and she always steps up."
Montalvo's top time set last weekend ranks 15th amongst the 17 qualifiers in the Steeplechase, which will feature two preliminaries on Thursday, May 24 at 7:40 p.m. (Central Time) with the final following the next day at 8:15 p.m. (Central Time), all at an altitude of 4,662 feet.
"It's not going to be easy, but she's grown up all of her life in El Paso (3,762 feet) so she knows how to run and train and race at that altitude," Styles said. "You've got to run well and have a little luck, too.
"Qualifying for the national championship in track is the hardest thing to do in our sport."