Here at Next Level Iowa, we are a sucker for a “feel good story” and this is one that really warms our hearts.
Alana Enabnit graduated from Clear Lake high school in May of 2011 after winning 3A state championships in the 3,000 and 1500 meter runs.
She accepted Coach Steve Johnson’s offer to attend Wartburg College in Waverly and become a part of their storied program. Her college career could not have started off any better. In her freshman year she won the Iowa Conference cross country title, was 7th nationally; won the IIAC indoor 5k title, was the D3 runner-up in the indoor 5k; won the IIAC 5k and 10k outdoor and capped off this unbelievable opening season with D3 outdoor titles in both the 5k and the 10k.
Simply one of the best freshman seasons ever, in any division.
But leg injuries became the norm for this spunky, always smiling star and not only did victories almost become merely a memory, completing simple workouts did too.
After watching Alana, painfully, try to compete in a couple of races for Wartburg like she did in the past, in seemed quite apparent that her successful, albeit short, running career had come to an uneventful end.
But those people, me included, who thought Alana was done, do not know here well enough. Her confidence is strong and her faith is even stronger.
“Last spring when I was in the process of looking for XC/track GA positions at various colleges and universities I had already kind of established that I was probably not going to compete again”, said the former Wartburg All American.
“But I kept getting nudges and encouragement from a few people to use my last year of eligibility. I was honestly scared to do it because I wanted to be able to work back in to running at my own pace and not put my body through another injury, but with much prayer and consideration it was clear to me that if the opportunity presented itself I needed to take it”, Enabnit added.
Now healthy and running again with a smile, Enabnit has found herself in the far west at Division 2 California Baptist University, one of the top Christian Colleges in the nation. CBU is a private Christian university located near Los Angeles in Southern California.
Enabnit said, “CBU came into the picture and it was the type of program I was looking for. I could get my Masters in Higher Education and Student Development and run again. Since May I have been running 100% pain free and have had the longest block of training I have had in a long time since we eased slowly back into it. The team and coaching staff in incredible and they are just a wonderful group of people. I have been blessed with another great running family and another shot to do what I love”.
The Lancers compete in the Pac West conference and are currently ranked 14th in Division 2.
In their season opener the 14th-ranked Lancers comfortably, beat out the four other teams — Riverside Community College, Chaffey College, Azusa Pacific and Concordia — in the 4K event, grabbing 26 points with six of the top nine finishers donning Lancer uniforms, one of which was Alana Enabnit who finished 4th in 14:24, just 7 seconds behind her winning teammate, Caroline Barkechir, and there is no doubt she had a smile on her face!