COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Just a month ago, Emmonnie Henderson labored to get through competitions while battling a herniated L5 disc in her back.
The injury forced her to wear a back brace while throwing and, in some meets, not compete in the weight throw.
In shot put, though, she never missed a meet, and Henderson continued competing through the pain. She refused to let her back derail the indoor season, the Louisville redshirt senior’s last opportunity to compete for the Cardinals.
On Friday, Henderson threw the shot put for the final time as a Louisville Cardinal, and she captured second place at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field National Championships in College Station, Texas.
“It was kind of a bittersweet thing,” Henderson said of finishing second. “It was bitter because it wasn’t first. But it was also sweet, because coming in three weeks ago before the meet, I was in a whole back brace with a horrible disc injury. And the fact that I could go through that and push through and finish second is a blessing. I can’t look at that as I didn’t win first. I’m more looking at that I’m still actually throwing.”
Henderson’s best throw, which earned her second place, went 58 feet, 3 3/4 inches (17.77 meters). Arizona State’s Maggie Ewen won by throwing 60-8.
“I can’t say enough about the way Emmonnie competed,” Louisville head coach Dale Cowper said in a press release. “Throughout her career, she has done so much to help our program, and she stepped up big again.”
Her second-place finish earned Henderson first-team All-America honors for the fourth time in her career. She previously earned first-team All-America honors at the 2017 NCAA outdoor meet (second place, shot put), 2017 NCAA indoor meet (sixth place, shot put), and 2015 NCAA outdoor meet (third place, discus).
Henderson, who came out publicly as LGBTQ in 2016, said her previous NCAA Championship experience helped her stay calm during Friday’s competition.
“I wasn’t really nervous while competing,” Henderson said. “I just went out there and did what I was supposed to do and gave it my all.”
The 23-year-old plans to take a week or so off before starting to train for outdoor season. Though she has exhausted her eligibility at Louisville, she intends to continue competing in the sport and hopes to get a professional contract.
She completed her bachelor’s degree in exercise science in December, and in the fall, she plans to start a master’s degree at Tennessee State while working as a graduate assistant coach.
“I’m content. I’m happy,” Henderson said. “I’m so blessed to have had the opportunity to compete and get my degree. It’s just time for me to move forward. I thank everybody that had a part in my success and who continued to push me, and I’m really going to miss them — miss them dearly.”
Names in bold are people that have announced publicly they identify as LGBT. Results are for competitions that took place Feb. 26-March 11.
Matt Aronson (junior, Wisconsin men’s diving) and Jacob Cornish (sophomore, Texas men’s diving) competed at the NCAA Zone D Diving Championships on March 5-7 in Minneapolis. Cornish extended his season by qualifying for the NCAA Championships on 1-meter springboard and platform. Cornish took fourth on platform and seventh on 1-meter springboard with scores of 715.55 and 712.6, respectively, for his 12 dives. Aronson’s season ended with him finishing 29th on 1- and 3-meter springboard with scores of 258.45 and 261.2, respectively, for his six dives.
Clark Carter (junior, Indiana men’s diving) ended his season competing at the NCAA Zone C Diving Championships on March 8-10 in Columbus, Ohio. Carter finished 30th on 1-meter springboard (259.25 points) and 33rd on 3-meter springboard (258.35).
Nile Clark (senior, Miami men’s tennis) went 2-3 in doubles matches as the Hurricanes also went 2-3 in matches the last two weeks.
Taylor Emery (junior, Virginia Tech women’s basketball) came close to a double-double with 28 points and nine rebounds in an 85-70 win against Syracuse in the Hokies’ opening game of the ACC tournament. No. 4-ranked Louisville knocked out Virginia Tech (18-13 overall) with a 73-70 win in the ACC quarterfinals on March 2, and Emery scored 27 points in that game. On Feb. 27, Emery was named to the ACC all-conference second team. She is just the fourth Hokies player to be named all-conference since Virginia Tech joined the ACC in 2004.
Aidan Faminoff (sophomore, Florida State men’s diving) and Nunzio Esposto (diving coach, Duke men’s and women’s diving) attended the NCAA Zone B Diving Championships on March 5-7 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Faminoff ended his season by finishing 10th on platform (622.2 points) and 17th on 3-meter springboard (635.45). Esposto guided four Duke divers to qualify for the NCAA Championships at the Zone meet.
Bryce Fehringer (sophomore, South Dakota men’s swimming) announced on Facebook that he is retiring from competitive swimming.
Bree Horrocks (redshirt junior, Vanderbilt women’s basketball), Kelly Komara (assistant coach, Vanderbilt women’s basketball) and Stephanie White (head coach, Vanderbilt women’s basketball) ended the season with an 88-76 loss to Arkansas on Feb. 28 in the SEC tournament. Horrocks played three minutes in the game. Vanderbilt finished 7-24 overall.
Kennedy Lohman (sophomore, Texas women’s swimming) and G Ryan (senior, Michigan women’s swimming) qualified for the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships, which will take place March 14-17 in Columbus, Ohio. Lohman qualified in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke, and she is seeded 10th in the 100 and 31st in the 200. Ryan qualified in the 500 and 1,650 freestyle and is seeded 10th and 14th, respectively.
Justice Lord (junior, Barton men’s volleyball) helped the Bulldogs (12-6 overall) go 2-0 the last two weeks. He had 10 kills and six digs in a four-set win against Belmont Abbey on March 3. Michael Tyler (junior, Barton men’s volleyball) said he decided to leave the team this season to focus on academics.
Charlie Minns (sophomore, Princeton men’s diving) qualified for the NCAA Championships in 1-meter springboard, 3-meter springboard and platform at the NCAA Zone A Diving Championships on March 5-7 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Minns took second on platform (707.3 points), seventh on 3-meter (671.05), and ninth on 1-meter (613.6). David Pfeifer (senior, Harvard men’s diving) qualified for the Zone A meet, but he decided not to compete due to hamstring and wrist injuries.
Jenny Allard (head coach, Harvard softball) guided the Crimson (6-7 overall) to a 4-4 record the last two weeks.
Colin Christiansen (assistant coach, UMBC softball) saw the Retrievers (2-13 overall) go 1-4 the last two weeks. The win came Saturday by beating Morgan State 7-4.
Patrick Jeffrey (diving coach, Stanford men’s & women’s diving) guided two men’s divers and two women’s divers to NCAA Championship berths at the NCAA Zone E Diving Championships at Northern Arizona on March 5-7.
Randy Lane (assistant coach, UCLA women’s gymnastics) saw the No. 2-ranked Bruins win the four-team Masters Classic at Nebraska on March 3 then beat Stanford 197.8-196.65 on Sunday.
Cale Robinson (assistant coach, Stanford women’s gymnastics) experienced the Cardinal take second at the four-team Elevate the State competition at Augusta, Georgia, on March 2. UCLA then beat Stanford 197.8-196.75 on Sunday.
Simon Thibodeau (head coach, UC Santa Barbara women’s tennis) coached the Gauchos (6-9 overall) to go 1-3 the last two weeks. The win came 4-0 at Arizona on March 2.
Kirk Walker (assistant coach, UCLA softball) kept the No. 3-ranked Bruins (24-0 overall) undefeated with a 9-0 stretch the last two weeks. Seven of the nine wins were by the mercy rule, giving UCLA 13 mercy-rule wins this season. On Sunday, the Bruins beat No. 16-ranked Ohio State 11-0 in five innings and No. 21-ranked Long Beach State 6-5. The 24-0 start is the sixth-best start in the UCLA program’s history.
Alanna Carvalho (senior, Alabama-Huntsville women’s lacrosse) helped the Chargers (6-1 overall) go 3-0 the last two weeks. Carvalho had a total of 14 goals and four assists in the three wins. On Feb. 27, she was named the Gulf South Conference Offensive Player of the Week for scoring 11 points the previous week.
Mark Johnson (assistant coach, Tampa baseball) saw the No. 2-ranked Spartans (15-5 overall) go 5-3 the last two weeks. The stretch included going 2-1 in a series with No. 12-ranked Nova Southeastern on March 2-3.
Lauren Lappin (assistant coach, Missouri-St. Louis softball) helped the Tritons (14-10 overall) go 10-4 the last two weeks.
Tony Nicolosi (head coach, Cal State East Bay men’s and women’s track & field coach) took his teams to the Duyst Invitational on March 3 and to Saturday’s Oxy Distance Carnival. The top finisher at the Duyst Invitational was women’s runner Angelina Ronquillo with a fourth place in the 1,500 meters (4:47.38). On Saturday, Brittney Duquette led the Pioneers by finishing 10th in the 800 meters (2:20.89).
Michael Drougas (senior, Oberlin men’s tennis) won both his doubles matches and went 1-1 in singles to help Oberlin go 2-0 the last two weeks.
Lindsey Farrell (junior, McDaniel women’s lacrosse) recorded a total of seven goals and three assists to help the Green Terror (3-2 overall) go 2-1 the last two weeks. She had three goals and two assists in a 16-9 win against Lynchburg on March 5.
Dominick Gutierrez (junior, Lynchburg men’s tennis) said he decided to leave the team to focus on work and academics.
Sam Knollmeyer (sophomore, Hamilton men’s lacrosse) made three saves in goal while playing the final 15 minutes of an 18-5 win against Utica on March 7. That was the only game he played as Hamilton went 1-2 to open the season.
Nathan Matthews (junior, Wittenberg men’s volleyball) recorded three kills and four digs in a three-set win against Hiram on March 3. Matthews helped the Tigers (11-8 overall) go 2-1 the last two weeks.
Cal Neikirk (junior, Pomona-Pitzer men’s track & field), Nick Vucovich (senior, Pomona-Pitzer men’s track & field) and Lucas White Moon (sophomore, Pomona-Pitzer men’s track & field) helped the Sagehens sweep the four-team multi-dual meet on March 3. Neikirk competed in six events, and he won the 110-meter hurdles (15.38 seconds), 400 hurdles (54.7 seconds), and the high jump (6 feet, 2 3/4 inches). White Moon finished fourth in long jump (20-10 3/4) and sixth in triple jump (42-1 1/4), and Vucovich took second in the 800 meters (1:56.32). “Cal was huge for us today,” Pomona-Pitzer head coach Jordan Carpenter said in a March 3 press release. “In total, Cal accounted for 19 points against Occidental. Cal is always willing to do whatever the team needs. In this meet, he long jumped for the first time since high school and was able to score points for the team.” On Saturday, Vucovich and White Moon competed at the Oxy Distance Carnival, where White Moon got ninth in the triple jump (42-0) and 15th in long jump (20-3) to go with Vucovich finishing 64th in the 800 (2:05.97).
Matt Taylor (sophomore, Willamette men’s track & field) did not compete in the first two meets of the season and is no longer on the team roster.
Jen Moore (assistant coach, Swathmore softball) saw the Garnet sweep Sunday’s doubleheader to improve to 4-0 this season overall.
Jaxon Cork (freshman, Clarke men’s volleyball) and Nick Clark (head coach, Clarke men’s volleyball) saw the Pride (12-13 overall) go 1-4 the last two weeks. Cork did not play in any of the five matches.
Lexie Gerson (assistant coach, Harcum women’s basketball) saw the team lose 85-48 to Union County on March 5 in the Region XIX Championship. On March 3, No. 4-seeded Harcum upset top-seeded Lackawanna 66-61 in overtime of the Region XIX semifinals. Harcum (20-13 overall) earned a berth in the NJCAA Division II national tournament, which starts March 20.
Layne Ingram (head coach, Lansing women’s basketball) ended the season with an 82-62 loss to Lake Michigan College on March 6 in the Region XII District G tournament first-round game. Lansing went 14-14 overall.