Roberts Wins Hammer Title, Men First After Day 1

Roberts Wins Hammer Title, Men First After Day 1


It wasn't a bad late afternoon and early evening on Thursday (May 25) for Ashland University junior thrower Daniel Roberts at the 2017 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Bradenton, Fla. 

Roberts won his first NCAA Division II outdoor national championship on Thursday, earning the men's hammer throw title with a top mark of 69.84 meters/229-feet-1. That mark not early led to a national title, but it also moved Roberts up one spot to become the No. 7 D-II men's hammer thrower of all-time.

Ashland throwers occupy five of the top seven spots on the all-time D-II men's hammer throwers list – Kibwe Johnson No. 1, Ryan Loughney No. 4, Garrett Grey No. 5, Jordan Crayon No. 6 and Roberts No. 7.

Roberts' hammer throw national championship is Ashland's men's team's seventh all-time.

Senior hammer throwers Crayon and Bryn Campbell ended their Eagle careers in style on Thursday, as Crayon took second with a top mark of 68.77 meters/225-feet-7, and Campbell's final throw of 64.72 meters/212-feet-4 earned him a tie for fourth (officially fifth after tiebreaker).

The 22 points accumulated by Roberts, Crayon and Campbell gave the Ashland men the top spot in the team standings through the first four events of the Championships. Tiffin is second with 16 points, followed by Grand Valley State with 12.

Also in the men's hammer, freshman Nick Zak placed 12th (60.08 meters/197-feet-1) and sophomore Stephen Pop was 18th (52.21 meters/171-feet-3).

Sophomore Myles Pringle won the men's 400-meter dash prelims in 46.38 seconds. He will compete in the finals on Saturday (May 27) at 6:25 p.m.

The men's 4x100 relay team of sophomores Brandon Wilson and Devin Snowden, senior Brandon Freeman and Pringle took sixth in 40.39 seconds, and advances to the finals on Saturday at 5:20 p.m.

In Ashland's first event of the day, the women's hammer throw, sophomore Natalie Helenthal took 12th with a top heave of 54.13 meters/177-feet-7, while sophomore MacKenzie Leigh wasn't far behind in 14th at 53.54 meters/175-feet-8.

The final event of Thursday, the men's 10,000 run, saw freshman Steven Kapes take 15th place with a final time of 31:02.79.

Snowden finished 13th in the men's 400 hurdles prelims in 52.45 seconds, while senior Nick Hall placed 19th in the men's 1,500 run prelims in 4:07.12.

UP NEXT: Day 2 of the 2017 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Friday (May 26).