Bianchi qualifies for NAIA Nationals

Published 5:15 pm Friday, April 6, 2018

Emma Bianchi has always been a natural when it comes to athletics, even before her days as a three-sports standout at Harlan High School, where she competed in track, basketball and softball.

Bianchi is continuing to excel on the next level, setting a Georgetown College record earlier this week in the high jump in a meet at Lindsey Wilson College with a leap of 5-5. Bianchi also qualified for the NAIA Nationals next month in Gulf Shores, Ala., with her performance.

“Emma had a really good practice on Tuesday, and I knew she was going to do something special this weekend,” Georgetown coach Luke Garnett said. “We switched to the Thursday meet last minute to avoid the forecasted weather this weekend and I was worried she might get thrown off by that. Luckily, the change paid off and she finally got to jump in decent weather.”

“My hope was to come to Georgetown, keep improving in high jump and be able to contribute to the success of the track team,” Bianchi said. “In college, they use the metric system, which I never used in high school, so I wasn’t aware of the actual height (in feet) that we were jumping. All I knew was that I won. It wasn’t until after the meet was over that I found out the height I won at (5-5) and that I had broken the Georgetown high jump record and advanced to nationals.”

Bianchi added a new event this spring with the javelin and has found immediate success there also.

“Emma is one heck of an athlete. With her background in softball we thought she would have a strong arm and encouraged her to try javelin,” Garnett said. “She has been finishing in the top three, including one win, at our meets and she hasn’t even learned a full javelin approach yet. I cannot wait to see what Emma can do over the next few years.”

Bianchi was a state champion in track at Harlan and was the starting center in basketball on Harlan’s 13th Region champion basketball team in 2016. She would have been a key player on the 2017 team that also made it to the state tournament, but a shoulder injury suffered early in the season kept her out of action most of her senior year. She also played center field on the Harlan softball team.