Day 2 of the 2018 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Friday (May 3) at the Dwight Schar Athletic Complex was a good one for Ashland University.
The women's team standings have the Eagles in second with 51 points, trailing only Grand Valley State (67). Ashland's men are in fourth place after the second day with 45.5 points, behind Grand Valley State (56), Tiffin (52.5) and Saginaw Valley State (51).
Sophomore Alex Hill earned a conference title in the men's discus throw, reaching a top heave of 54.26 meters/178-feet-0. Hill entered the meet as the GLIAC's top-seeded discus thrower.
"It felt really good today," Hill said. "I was struggling a little bit earlier, trying to find my finish, with the wind and everything, but things started coming together in Round 5.
"We practice here every day, so it's very comfortable."
Junior Myles Pringle won his seventh GLIAC title between indoor and outdoor meets, topping the field in the men's high jump at 2.14 meters/7-feet-0¼.
In the men's javelin throw, sophomore Dylan Kipp won the GLIAC crown at 54.15 meters/177-feet-8.
"The indoor season takes forever," said Kipp, who doesn't compete indoors due to no javelin event during the winter, and didn't do the javelin in high school at nearby New London. "It's an awesome feeling, especially back-to-back."
Also in the men's javelin, freshman Luke Knight placed fifth at 47.68 meters/156-feet-5.
"Great performance by Luke Knight," said Logan. "Came in ranked ninth and finished fifth. We needed Dylan to win, and he did."
Junior Jim Toth took sixth in the discus at 50.35 meters/165-feet-2, an improved provisional mark for NCAA Division II outdoor nationals, May 24-26 in Charlotte, N.C.
For Ashland on the women's side, the podium spots were swept in the javelin throw, with freshman Romi Smith earning a GLIAC title at 41.93 meters/137-feet-6, freshman Taylor Dziatczak finishing second at 39.13 meters/128-feet-4, and senior Hannah Bartlome taking third at 39.07 meters/128-feet-2.
Smith's distance was a new provisional mark for nationals, as well as an Ashland women's freshman record.
"That feels awesome," Smith said of the podium hat trick. "We've been working hard for it all season. We've all just helped each other out. I've always loved Ashland, I've always respected what they do here, and to be a part of this and score some points, that's awesome."
Logan added, "Incredibly proud of the women's javelin throwers. As a coach, you say things like, 'our women should go 1-2-3 in the javelin,' and you get home at night and say, 'why the heck did I say that? Is that the kiss of death?' Well, it wasn't."
The day began with senior Marie Hammer placing second in the heptathlon with a new provisional nationals mark of 4,601 points, and freshman Rachel Frey taking eighth at 3,974 points. To end the day, Hammer took third in the women's long jump at 5.56 meters/18-feet-3.
The Eagle women received team points from three athletes in the pole vault – sophomore Amber Otermat (third, 3.52 meters/11-feet-6½), freshman Gabriel Ewing (fourth, 3.37 meters/11-feet-0¾) and freshman Vanessa Byers (eighth, 2.92 meters/9-feet-7).
"Vanessa Byers has no-heighted in every event this year, and she chose this one to get her first bar and get eighth place," Logan noted. "Grand Valley has one of the premier vault programs in the country, and we actually tied them in the amount of points scored by their vaulters. That was absolutely huge."
In the men's decathlon, freshman Garrick Manning was fifth with 5,670 points. Junior Jacob Bon took fifth in the men's long jump at 7.08 meters/23-feet-2¾, and was tied for eighth in the men's high jump at 1.94 meters/6-feet-4¼.
"Jake Bon is a guy we thought were going to have back next year," Logan said. "He's got his degree, he was going to start his master's, and was just offered an incredible job."
In the men's 110-meter hurdles preliminaries on Thursday, both freshman Trevor Bassitt (first, 14.04 seconds) and sophomore Arthur Greenlee IV (fourth, 14.33 seconds) turned in improved provisional nationals times in advancing to Friday's (May 4) finals. Pringle did the same in the men's 200 dash prelim (20.89 seconds).
"Some stuff wasn't expected. That 200 definitely was not expected," said Pringle. "That was a huge PR. That 20.89, that definitely put me in nationals, so I'm happy about that. High jump…I'm happy about that."
"20.89 is something we've been expecting out of him, but we were thinking we may not get it until the NCAA Championships," Logan said. "Tomorrow, his day – 4x1…400 final, 200 final, 4x4. That's going to be a busy man."
The women's 100 dash prelims saw sophomore Gariana Bercheni earn a new provisional nationals time of 11.89 seconds in placing fourth and moving on to Friday's finals. Later, Bercheni earned a new provo in finishing second in the women's 200 dash prelims in 24.35 seconds.
"She's been coming, coming, coming," Logan said. "If she could drop that 24.30 into 24.09 tomorrow…she's got a chance of being a bubble NCAA runner. That's such a long way to come."
Also moving on to Friday's finals in their respective events were:
- Men's 400 hurdles – freshman Travis Moore (second, 54.67 seconds) and Bassitt (third, 54.68 seconds).
- Women's 100 hurdles – Bercheni (seventh, 14.66 seconds).
- Women's 200 dash – freshman Madeline Kreller (seventh, 25.46 seconds).
- Women's 400 hurdles – freshman Maddi Yingst (eighth, 1:06.39).
- Women's 1,500 run – sophomore Johannah Stefanek (eighth, 4:54.02).
UP NEXT: The third and final day of the 2018 GLIAC Championships on Friday – field events starting at 11:45 a.m. (moved back from original 10:45 a.m. time), running events starting at 12:10 p.m.