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Pena Caps Brillant Career with Second All-American Honor

June 05, 2023
Julia Pena competing in the NCAA Champs
Aaron Brewer Photography

York College senior standout Julia Pena capped a wildly successful Spartan career on Saturday with a second All-American award during day three of the NCAA Division III Championships.

Pena finished eighth in the finals of 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.20 to earn the All-American honor. She is the first Spartan women's track and field athlete to earn All-American honors and just the second outdoor Spartan track and field athlete to earn a pair of All-American honors in one meet, joining Tim Hartung, who finished 8th in the 10,000 meters and 8th in the 5,000 meters back in 2014.

Spartan head coach Stephen LoBianco knows how special Pena's career has been.

"It was a great end to a fantastic year for Julia," said LoBianco. "Her improvements each year, as well as the improvement over her four-year career, has been incredible. It's rare to see someone who works this hard and progresses season by season, year by year in all their events. I couldn't have asked for a better way for her to close out her time at York than earning one, let alone two, All American finishes."

Pena's Spartan senior year has been one for the record books. She owns the school records in all three of her events. She established the new school record for the 100-meter hurdles in the NCAA preliminaries with a blistering time of 13.88. Her pole vault record of 3.85 came at the MAC championships as she earned the conference championship. She completed the three-event sweep with a best jump of 5.84 meters in the long jump at the conference championships. Overall, she earned four outdoor conference championships and four silver medals during her career. It could have been more but Pena lost her freshman outdoor season to COVID.

Pena was named the MAC Outdoor Track Field Athlete of the Year for her performance at the 2023 championships. She also earned the honor for her performance during the indoor campaign. This spring, she had seven individual first place finishes for the campaign. For her career, Pena accumulated 50 individual victories between her indoor and outdoor career.

In May, Pena was recognized by the Middle Atlantic Conference as the MAC Senior Scholar-Athlete award for both indoor and outdoor track & field.

Pena graduated from York earlier in the month with a degree in forensic chemistry as she was Summa Cum Laude with a 3.98 GPA.

This story originally appeared on www.ycpspartans.com.