Johnson, Kruger Shine In Eugene, Headed For Beijing

A.G. Kruger
A.G. Kruger

On Thursday (June 25) night in Eugene, Ore., former Ashland University standout Kibwe Johnson and AU Strength & Conditioning Coach A.G. Kruger put on a display in the men's hammer throw in Day 1 of the 2015 USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships.

That display means both Johnson and Kruger are set to do the same thing at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships, Aug. 22-30 in Beijing, China. Johnson won his fifth USATF outdoor title with a top mark of 76.95 meters/252-feet-5 coming on his fifth attempt, while Kruger finished third at 76.01 meters/249-feet-4, that coming on his sixth and final throw.

Johnson and Kruger, along with Conor McCullough, all have IAAF A standards, qualifying them for Beijing. Kruger, a three-time United States Olympian in the hammer who is training for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, hit the A standard on June 4 during the 2015 Ashland Summer Series, launching a top throw of 76.87 meters/252-feet-2.

Former AU standout Ryan Loughney finished 15th in the hammer (66.28 meters/217-feet-5).

A pair of 2015 Ashland graduates, Drew Windle and Elijha Owens, also competed on Thursday at the Outdoor Championships. Windle was 28th in the men's 800-meter prelims, finishing in 1:50.53. Owens was 20th in the men's 400-meter hurdles prelims, crossing the finish line in 51.49.

Kurt Roberts, who won three shot put national titles at AU and was a seven-time All-American, will compete in the shot on Sunday. Also competing on Sunday is Katie Nageotte, a two-time national champion and three-time All-American in the pole vault.

The USATF Outdoor Championships will be televised on Friday from 10 p.m.-midnight on NBC Sports Network, Saturday from 4-6 p.m. on NBC, Sunday from 3-4 p.m. on Universal Sports Network and Sunday from 4-6 p.m. on NBC (all times Eastern).