Four student-athletes from Faith Baptist Bible College (FBBC) will make their way to the NCCAA Track and Field Championships this week in Greenville, Illinois, seeking individual titles in their respective competitions. Sierra Udd, a sophomore, will attempt to win a national championship in the discus throw. She finished sixth nationally last season as a freshman. Sadie Long, a freshman, will compete in the high jump, and sisters Kristin and Sharon Yuan will compete in the 400-meter hurdles.

It is one of the only times FBBC siblings have competed together at the national championships in track and field. Even though they compete against each other in the 400-meter hurdles, it is hard to call the relationship between Kristin and Sharon Yuan a “sibling rivalry.”

“We aren’t competitive in the sense that we feel like we have to beat each other,” said Kristin, a junior and the second-oldest of three Yuan sisters currently enrolled at Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary in Ankeny, Iowa. Sharon, a freshman at Faith, says it is mostly just fun to compete together because they both know their limits. There are five Yuan sisters in all. Allison, the oldest, is a 2021 graduate and was an All-American soccer player for the Faith Eagles.

Growing up in Naperville, Illinois, Kristin and Sharon always competed in team sports together but never really against each other, until this year. The Yuan sisters come from an extremely athletic family, with a father and mother who both played Division I athletics. Steve was captain of the gymnastics team at the University of Michigan, while their mother, Nancy (Valla), played softball at St. Louis University. Both played competitive beach volleyball as well. Mr. and Mrs. Yuan passed their athletic genes along to their children and encouraged them to play multiple sports.

“We played a lot of different sports growing up,” said Sharon. “Any and all sports.” Kristin has a black belt in taekwondo and cited the desire of her parents to be well-rounded in athletics as a key reason to her success in multiple sports at Faith.

The Yuan sisters did everything from water polo and horseback riding to basketball, soccer, softball, and tennis. They play multiple sports together at Faith, between women’s soccer and track. Both will be back next fall. All three Yuan sisters had the opportunity to play soccer together this past fall as Allison had an added year of COVID eligibility. Kristin runs cross country as well.

“I think it is really fun because I did track last year, and our track team was way smaller, so I didn’t have anyone doing 400-meter hurdles with me,” said Kristin. “I was just training by myself, so it’s really nice to have someone else to push me in practices and have someone to run with you.”

 

Sharon is looking forward to training with Kristin in the offseason for track, but first, the pair will compete against (and with) each other one final time at the NCCAA Track and Field National Championships on May 12-14 in Greenville, Illinois. This will be the second time this season the pair has participated in an NCCAA National Championship event. The Yuans competed for a national title in women’s soccer in November, as the Faith Eagles finished third in the nation. As much as they excel in athletics, they don’t always relish the training that goes into it.

“We always joke that we love track, except between 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. every day (practice time) when we’re running,” said Kristin. “The meets are fun,” added Sharon. “You’re fresh and you have the adrenaline, so you don’t really think about the pain.”

The Yuan sisters comprise half of the Eagles’ track and field competitors who will be participating in the NCCAA Track and Field National Championships. For Kristin Yuan and Sierra Udd, this will be their second consecutive trip to the National Championships. Sadie Long, like Sharon Yuan, is a freshman competing at Nationals for the first time.

The women’s discus event happens on Thursday, May 12, at 3:30 p.m. The women’s high jump takes place on Thursday, May 12, at 5:00 p.m. The Yuan sisters have to wait until Friday, May 13, at 2:30 p.m. for their run at the 400-meter hurdles title.

You can follow the Yuan sisters, Sierra Udd, and Sadie Long’s results at thenccaa.org or through Faith Eagles’ social media feeds. Best of luck to our Faith Eagles this week at Nationals!

 

 

 

 

 

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