Even though there was no track
and field team at Kaskaskia College in 1978,
Sumner was encouraged to participate in the
discus at several meets to see if she could
meet the qualifying mark of 125’ for the
NJCAA Nationals. This was a distance she had
accomplished while at Centralia High School.
She met the standard and while competing in
the NJCAA Nationals, she was scouted by a
coach for SIU-E.
Sumner was recruited for a position with the
SIU-E track team for 1979. In her first
season at SIU-E, she set a new school record
for the discus at 142’. She qualified for
the Association for Intercollegiate
Athletics for Women (Precursor to NCAA for
Women) state meet in Normal, Illinois, and
took first with a throw of 137’9”. She
was named SIU-E
Track and Field MVP.
In the summer of 1979, she placed first in
the discus at the U.S. Track and Field
Association Championships in Wichita, Kansas
with a throw of 140’10”. This gave her
All-American status and the opportunity to
compete with the U.S. Olympic team.
In 1980, as Co-Captain of the SIU-E team,
she again won the AIAW state meet and also
qualified for the AIAW national meet. At the
national meet, she placed ninth in a field
that included all intercollegiate women as
there were no
divisional break-outs at that time. Sumner
was named All-State and again was SIU-E MVP.
the summer of 1980, she placed second at the
U.S. Track and Field Association meet.
1981, again as Co-Captain of the SIU-E team,
she set a new record of 158’5”. Sumner
again won the AIAW State Championship with a
toss of 153’10” receiving All-State
honors. At the AIAW DIV. II national meet,
she placed second, receiving All-American
honors. She was again named SIU-E MVP, and
also voted Most Outstanding Female Athlete,
and named one of the Elite Eight Athletes by
the SIU-E Alestle News.
intercollegiate meets, Sumner took 25 firsts
and seven seconds.