Ashland University's men's and women's indoor track and field teams won't take it easy in their first meet in more than a month, but Saturday's (Jan. 12) Findlay Open won't be your run-of-the-mill competition, either.
"The Findlay meet is going to be strictly a training meet," said Ashland head coach Jud Logan. "(Senior) Myles (Pringle) is going to run the 600, a lot of people are going to do over-distance in a lot of events. This is a meet that we probably expect to come out with zero provos and no improvements. We're training through this week."
The ramp-up for 2019 NCAA Division II indoor nationals (March 8-9 at Pittsburg State) will resume on Jan. 18 at the Youngstown State College Invitational.
As for the first two meets prior to the Christmas/New Year's break, Ashland's men and women, ranked No. 4 and 7 in the country, respectively, collected six automatic and 20 provisional marks for indoor nationals.
On the women's side, one of the pleasant surprises is sophomore Miyuki Sugiyama, who ranks No. 11 in D-II in the triple jump at 11.91 meters/39-feet-1.
"Miyuki works really hard," Logan said. "She wants to do every event that there possibly is in track and field. That's just the kind of kid she is. We don't expect her in these first two meets to necessarily come out and beat that mark, but once she gets back into that runway rhythm she had in the fall, we're expecting her to bump up more toward Grand Valley Big, Kent State or conference."
The men's team has a wealth of sprinters, and one of the newcomers there is freshman Tim Rumas. Rumas has the eighth-best D-II 200-meter dash time so far this season at 21.67 seconds.
"(Associate head coach) Ernie (Clark) knew what we had in Tim," said Logan. "He was definitely one of our gold-star recruits. Again, these first two or three meets will be him finding his legs again. But he's a kid, once that calendar flips in February, watch out. He's going to be good."