As the 2020 indoor track & field season was about to wrap up, the Arizona State track teams were getting ready to compete in the NCAA Indoor Championships in New Mexico, and Samantha Noennig was looking forward to defending her title in the shot put.
The national meet was scheduled to begin on March 13. On March 12, the COVID-19 threat shut down college sports. It meant no NCAA Indoor Championships, and marked the end of the outdoor season before it even began.
Noennig will get at least one more chance to compete at the NCAA Championships. But she won’t be doing it in the maroon-and-gold uniform of the ASU Sun Devils.
The four-time All-American from Wisconsin will finish her college career at Pac-12 rival, University of Arizona, following a transfer to the Wildcat program after the cancellation of the outdoor season.
Noennig, who entered the 2020 campaign as the defending shot put champion in both the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships, will be a most welcome addition to the UofA women’s team that finished fourth last season at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Conference Championships to close out the indoor season.
She picked up her undergraduate degree from ASU in May, so she will be competing for the Cats as a grad transfer while working on a masters degree in public health.
The Cats went into the MPSF championships short-handed, since an injury kept Alexa Porpaczy from competing. The sophomore from Canada had been contributing team points throughout the indoor season and won the MPSF high jump to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships.
With Porpaczy healthy again for next season, and Noennig coming over from ASU, the UofA women’s team could be headed for a big season. Noennig won the Pac-12 shot put title and finished second in the discus during the 2019 outdoor season, providing a team-high 18 points to the Sun Devils’ team total.
There’s no reason to think she won’t do the same next season. But she’ll be wearing red and blue.
(Photo: ASU Athletics)