MISENHEIMER, N.C. - As a general rule in track and field competition, being first is always the ultimate goal. While second and third place still receive awards and recognition, it is first that the athletes strive to achieve. Two brand new members of the Pfeiffer Athletic family are getting a head start on that "first" designation, signing on to be the first members of the newly minted Pfeiffer University track and field team. Head Coach Chris Wood announced Thursday that Josh Fuqua and Kylie Spencer would be the first-ever track and field signees in the history of Pfeiffer Athletics, joining cross country athletes already in the program who will be competing in track and field events as well.
Fuqua hails from Alabama where he's attended the Mobile Christian School since Kindergarten and is currently competitive in the shot put. Having won the 2A Alabama High School Athletic Association's 2013 State Championship in shot put as well as the 1-4A Indoor State Championship in 2014, Fuqua brings a tradition of winning with him to Pfeiffer. Fuqua has been competing in shot put since his sophomore year in high school, threw 50.7 feet in season as a junior, and bested that mark in the summer before his senior year with a throw of 52.5 feet. Currently throwing 51 feet in the 2014 outdoor season, Fuqua is also attempting the discus in his last high school season, and is a two-time team captain. Academically he boasts a 3.8 cumulative GPA and a score of 24 on the ACT with memberships in the Math Club, Service Club, and Honor Society. When asked about Fuqua's impact on the new program, Wood offered no hesitation. "I feel that Joshua has a legitimate chance at being the Conference Carolinas Champion in the shot put as a freshman. The jump up in implement weight will change things a bit but after a huge indoor season as State Champion, he will continue to improve on his best throughout outdoor and look to be State Champion again."
Spencer comes to Pfeiffer from Greensboro, N.C. where she is currently finishing up her senior year at Southeast Guilford High School. Spencer has committed to run cross country as well as track. After a little hard work in the summer before high school, Spencer earned a spot in the Top 5 of her high school's track team as a freshman runner. A letter-winner in outdoor track for the last four seasons, and indoor track for the last two seasons, Spencer saw her hard work pay off when she earned her team's number one runner designation this past season. Spencer's outdoor track accomplishments from last season include; All-Conference Runner designation, outdoor track State Qualifier for the 1600m, and indoor track State Qualifier for the 1600m. She was also an indoor track State Qualifier for the 1600m this past season, and holds school records in indoor track in the 1600m, 1000m, and 3200m. Spencer also boasts school record times in the 1600m and 3200m events in outdoor competition. Also competing all four years of high school in cross country, Spencer currently holds her school's women's 5K record, breaking her own record set last year during her junior season. She received her school's cross country MVP award this past season and has been the recipient of her team's distance MVP award for each season she's been a member of the squad. Spencer has also spent the last four years as a member of the Metro 4A All-Conference team for cross country, and was a two-time 4A Midwest Region Individual State Qualifier. Wood spoke highly of his newly acquired distance runner and mentioned, "Kylie will bring a lot of stability to the front of our pack for cross country as well as points in the 1500m outdoors. She has performed very well in North Carolina for the last two years. I am very confident in her ability to become a top runner in the Conference Carolinas Cross Country Championships."
Wood is excited to get back to work with his teams and could hardly contain his elation when discussing the future of the track and field program at Pfeiffer. "I spent a couple of weeks worth of practice with the current athletes I have, and every one of them is hungry for success. As for the freshmen that are coming in, especially the first two signees, success is a sure thing. I am very excited to start the 2014-2015 campaign. The goal is to give no ground to the conference next fall and improve on the fourth and seventh place finishes from last fall."
No one knows what the future holds for these athletes, but one thing's for certain, they'll always be first.