Peni Acayo, a 2011 Goshen graduate and long jumper competing for Kent State University, finished 11th in the triple jump at the NCAA indoor track and field championships. The Kampala, Uganda native missed the podium and the finals by two spots with a jump of 41’4¼” on Friday, March 9 in Nampa, Idaho.

After completing her volleyball eligibility and graduating from Goshen, Acayo chose to finish her last year of track eligibility at a higher level of competition. She chose Kent State University because of the strong reputation of its visual communication design program and its Division I athletics.

“Kent State has a rigorous program that pushes me as a designer and visual communicator,” said Acayo of her decision. “I found out about this program through my former professor of graphic design, Anne Berry, who is an alumna of the program.”

Acayo was drawn to Kent State for its design program opportunities, but ended up reaching an even higher potential as a jumper. She went into the season with a goal of a 40-foot range and ended up exceeding her goal at nationals.

“One of the most rewarding moments comes with seeing results of one’s hard work,” says Acayo. “My coaches are great and I have learned so much from them. It’s such an exciting feeling to see it all pay off.”

“I feel blessed and now focused on the outdoor season. I have different goals set and can only do my part in working towards meeting those goals,” said Acayo of her upcoming season.

Acayo and the Golden Flashes will begin the outdoor track season Saturday. The outdoor national championships will be held June 6-9 in Des Moines, Iowa, and televised on ESPN.