The 2018 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships got underway on Wednesday (May 2) at the Dwight Schar Athletic Complex, and Ashland's men's and women's outdoor track and field teams are on their way to their first team points of the meet.
Wednesday saw the start of the men's decathlon and the women's heptathlon. In a tight heptathlon race through four events, senior Marie Hammer is in third place with 2,844 points – just 64 points away from leader Emma Schaefer of Saginaw Valley State (2,908).
"There's a lot of comfort level, especially with the running events," Hammer said of competing at home. "I feel a lot more relaxed, but still confident. It's a good spot. After the first day, everybody wants to be in first place, but I've got long jump starting out Day 2. I feel really confident about that."
Said Ashland head coach Jud Logan, "I think she's got a really good chance to win. She's the best long jumper in the field. If we get that good tailwind, I think she's got a really good chance of jumping over 18 feet. If she does that, she's going to make up a lot of distance on the rest of the field.
Hammer has a chance on Thursday (May 3) to hit a provisional mark for 2018 NCAA Division II outdoor nationals, May 24-26 in Charlotte, N.C.
"It would be impressive, and if she does that, we'll probably try to find one more multi during the last-chance weekend," Logan said. "She's got herself in it."
Freshman Rachel Frey is ninth in the heptathlon with 2,395 points.
In the men's decathlon, through five events, freshman Garrick Manning is in sixth place with 3,015 points.
UP NEXT: Day 2 of the 2018 GLIAC Championships on Thursday – mulits starting at 9 a.m., and running and field events beginning at 2:30 p.m.