FINDLAY – Ashland University's No. 1-ranked men's and No. 21-ranked women's indoor track and field teams each finished third in the overall team standings, and boasted many top individual performances in Day 2 of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships on Sunday (Feb. 26).
Sophomore Myles Pringle had two of the top efforts of the day for the Eagles, winning the men's 400-meter run in 48.12 and placing second in the men's high jump with a top mark of 2.11 meters/6-feet-11.
In the men's shot put, Ashland throwers earned four of the top seven places – senior Elijah Talk second (18.15 meters/59-feet-6½), junior Daniel Roberts fifth (17.16 meters/56-feet-3½), senior Jason Zahn sixth (17.11 meters/56-feet-1½) and junior Zachary Smelcer seventh (16.76 meters/54-feet-11¾). Talk and Smelcer each improved upon previous provisional nationals marks.
The men's 200 dash saw sophomore Brandon Wilson place third in 22.20 seconds, while freshman Jared Ryder was third with a new provisional effort in the men's heptathlon (4,746 points). Wilson was fourth in the 60 dash (6.86), while sophomore Tyler Sievert was fourth in the men's 800 run (1:55.81).
Ashland's men's 4x400 relay team of senior Columbus Millet, sophomore Devin Snowden, freshman Paul Murray and Pringle had the top time of the race in 3:16.55, but was disqualified due to a uniform violation.
"Overall, I felt like it was a really good conference meet," Pringle said. "I felt like I did my best to get us team points. With high jump this week, in practice, I was jumping really good. The last two days are kind of like a pre-meet of nationals."
That left the final men's team standings as Ashland in third place at 107 points. Tiffin won with 167.5, followed by Grand Valley State with 131.5.
The top effort on the women's side came from sophomore Samantha Duale, who won GLIAC gold in the women's 60 dash with an improved provisionals time of 7.53 seconds.
"It was awesome," Duale said. "I really trust the process of what we've been working on, and it's really a mental game, and that's what a struggle with. I believed in myself, and I just ran.
"They say not to worry about the time, but in the back of my head, I do. I really just told myself to trust the process, and I just let whatever happened, happen."
Senior Megan Tomei took third in the women's shot put (15.03 meters/49-feet-3½), and freshman Amber Otermat was third in the women's pole vault with an improved provisional distance of 3.79 meters/12-feet-5.
Said Ashland head coach Jud Logan, "We were looking for some kids to step up that were bubble kids. We went into this weekend having two girls going (to nationals). We'll now be sending five girls instead of two."
Junior Haley Gregory was fourth in the women's 60 hurdles (8.81 seconds), fifth in the women's 60 dash (7.71 seconds), and eighth in the women's 200 dash in 25.95 seconds.
Three Eagles finished in the top six in the women's high jump – senior Rebecca Koval (fourth, 1.64 meters/5-feet-4½), freshman Paula Wollenslegel (tied for sixth, 1.64 meters/5-feet-4½) and junior Hannah Bartlome (tied for sixth, 1.64 meters/5-feet-4½).
In the final women's team standings, the Eagles were third with 79 points. Grand Valley State won (160.5), followed by Hillsdale (96.5).
Pringle earned GLIAC Men's Track Athlete of the Year, Tomei is the GLIAC Women's Field Athlete of the Year and freshman Alex Hill is the GLIAC Men's Field Freshman of the Meet.
"We had a lot of incredible performances," Logan said.
UP NEXT: National qualifiers will compete at the 2017 NCAA Division II National Championships, March 9-11 in Birmingham, Ala.