Three Eagles Earn Automatic National Spots At Buckeye Classic

Three Eagles Earn Automatic National Spots At Buckeye Classic

The Ashland University indoor track and field teams returned to action Friday (Jan. 9) in Columbus, Ohio, at the Ohio State Buckeye Classic, and they did so by getting three automatic-qualifying efforts for the Division II national meet.

Senior Zac Ball placed second at OSU in the men's weight throw with a top effort of 71-feet-10, joining fellow senior Jared Conklin as an automatic national qualifier. The winner of the weight throw was Ashland strength and conditioning coach A.G. Kruger, who topped out at 73-feet-0¾.

A pair of seniors – Jessica Bridenthal and Shatora Lewis – earned automatic spots in the women's weight throw. Bridenthal (68-feet-9) and Lewis (68-feet-1) finished 1-2 on Friday at OSU.

Ashland has seen six automatic national qualifying efforts through the season's first two meets.

Also on Friday, there were three other Eagle provisional national qualifying efforts, bringing Ashland's total season automatic/national marks to 22. Bridenthal placed second in the women's shot put (48-feet-2½), senior Kim Habbeger was third in the women's weight throw (62-feet-11½) and freshman Zachary Smelcer was sixth in the men's shot put (51-feet-10½).

Other notable efforts on Friday included Ashland volunteer assistant cross country coach Stephanie Tinney winning the women's 600-meter run (1:35.95), and Bridenthal (48-feet-2½) and Lewis (47-feet-2¼) finishing 2-3 in the women's shot put.

The Eagles will be back in action Friday (Jan. 16) at the Northwest Ohio Invitational at Findlay.