There are outstanding collegiate careers, and then there is the one senior Drew Windle just finished for Ashland University's track and field program.
Windle won his third men's 800-meter run national championship outdoors on Saturday (May 23) in the third and final day of the 2015 NCAA Division II Championships at Grand Valley State University, crossing the finish line in 1:48.89.
That title brings Windle's collegiate career to a close. And what a career it was:
- Two-time United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association men's indoor track and field athlete of the year.
- Six 800-meter national championships (three indoors, three outdoors), and eight national championships overall.
- 11 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles (five indoors, six outdoors).
Junior Elijha Owens earned two All-American citations on Saturday, finishing second in the men's 400-meter intermediate hurdles (50.51) and third in the men's 110-meter high hurdles (13.82). Owens earned four All-American track honors in 2014-15, finshing second in the men's 60-meter hurdles and fifth in the men's 400-meter dash at indoor nationals.
Saturday began with a pair of All-American performances by seniors in the women's shot put. Jessica Bridenthal earned her second All-American citation of the week by finishing second with a top mark and an outdoor personal record of 51-feet-7/15.72 meters. On Thursday (May 21), Bridenthal was fifth in the women's hammer throw.
Also in the women's shot, Shatora Lewis placed fifth with an outdoor PR of 49-feet-11/15.21 meters.
The championship record in the women's shot continues to be former Eagle Adriane Blewitt's 2003 mark of 57-feet-6½/17.54 meters.
The Eagle men finished third as a team. It is the second consecutive year AU's men took third at outdoor nationals, and the sixth time they have finished fourth or higher at outdoor nationals.
Ashland's women took seventh as a team despite having just eight competitors at nationals. It is their fourth consecutive outdoor nationals finish of ninth place or better.
Ashland's track and field program saw a total of 12 All-American efforts over the three-day national meet.