For the first time since 2013, the No. 1-ranked Ashland University men's track and field team has won the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference outdoor championship.
Following the completion of the third and final day of competition on Friday (May 5) at Grand Valley State, the Eagle men had 175 team points – 13 more than second-place Tiffin and 38.5 more than the third-place Lakers.
Ashland's men received contributions in all areas in winning their first GLIAC outdoor title in four years, and that especially was true on Friday. In the men's discus throw alone, four of the top five spots were occupied by Eagles – champion senior Jason Zahn (53.79 meters/176-feet-5½), junior Daniel Roberts third (52.38 meters/171-feet-10), freshman Alex Hill fourth (51.66 meters/169-feet-5¾) and sophomore Jim Toth fifth (improved provisional nationals mark of 50.11 meters/164-feet-4¾).
In addition to Zahn's title, sophomore Myles Pringle won the men's 400 dash in 46.45 seconds, the men's 4x100 relay team of sophomores Brandon Wilson and Devin Snowden, senior Brandon Freeman and Pringle took the title over Hillsdale by a margin of 40.908 to 40.910 seconds, and the men's 4x4 relay squad of Snowden, senior Columbus Millet, Pringle and freshman Paul Murray crossed the finish line first in 3:14.17.
Ashland's men received second- and fourth-place showings both the shot put and the 200 dash. In the shot, junior Elijah Talk was second (18.01 meters/59-feet-1) and Zahn fourth (17.14 meters/56-feet-2¾), while in the 200, Wilson was second (improved provisional 21.19 seconds) and Freeman fourth (21.64 seconds).
Senior Hunter Heaton was runner-up in the men's 800 run in an improved provisional time of 1:52.10, Snowden was third and improved upon his provisional in the men's 400 hurdles (52.87 seconds), and freshman Arthur Greenlee IV (third, 14.37 seconds) and Snowden (sixth, 14.64 seconds) each scored in the men's 110 hurdles.
Also placing for the AU men on Friday were Wilson with an improved provisional in the 100 dash (fourth, 10.50 seconds), freshman Jared Ryder in the triple jump (fifth, 14.39 meters/47-feet-2½), sophomore Jacob Sprague in the pole vault (fifth, 4.72 meters/15-feet-5¾) and senior Eric Hansen in the 1,500 run (eighth, 4:02.14).
Earning a conference championship for the Eagle women on Friday was junior Hannah Bartlome in the high jump. Both she and second-place senior Rebecca Koval turned in a top effort of 1.65 meters/5-feet-4¾.
Sophomore Samantha Duale was the runner-up in the women's 100 dash with an improved provisional time of 11.87 seconds, while both the women's 4x1 (47.26 seconds) and 4x4 (3:55.45) relays finished fourth.
Four seventh-place showings were earned on Friday, as well – freshman Gariana Bercheni in the women's 100 hurdles (14.60 seconds), senior Jackie Genetin in the women's 800 run (2:14.97), Duale in the women's 200 dash (25.10 seconds) and senior Nuri Lee in the women's triple jump (11.19 meters/36-feet-8½).
After the conclusion of the meet, Pringle was named GLIAC Men's High Point Athlete of the Meet, and Ashland head coach Jud Logan earned GLIAC Men's Coach of the Year honors.
Ashland's women finished sixth in the team standings with 69 points. GVSU was first by a wide margin with 185.5 points, followed by Findlay (87) and Hillsdale (83).
UP NEXT: A last-chance weekend to be determined prior to 2017 NCAA Division II nationals, May 25-27 in Bradenton, Fla.