Ashland University's nationally-ranked men's and women's indoor track and field teams went to Grand Valley State Big Meet on Friday (Feb. 8).
The No. 2-ranked AU men and No. 9-ranked AU women combined for five new or improved nationals marks on Friday, and Fairbanks and Bassitt stood out. Fairbanks won the men's weight throw invite category at 22.27 meters/73-feet-0¾ – not only improving upon his previous automatic mark for 2019 NCAA Division II indoor nationals (March 8-9, Pittsburg State, Kan.), but moving him into a tie for the fifth-best D-II men's weight thrower of all time.
Bassitt won the men's 200-meter dash invite race in 21.20 seconds, a new automatic nationals time, and the men's 60 hurdles in 7.94 seconds. He now is ranked No. 2 in the nation in both events.
Ashland's three improved provisional marks was turned in by junior Nick Zak in the men's weight throw invite (second, 20.74 meters/68-feet-0½), sophomore Channing Phillips in the men's 400 dash invite (fourth, 48.44 seconds), and redshirt freshman Lindsay Baker in the women's weight throw invite (fourth, 18.26 meters/59-feet-11).
Winning their respective events on Friday were sophomore Jared Ryder in the men's triple jump (14.25 meters/46-feet-9) and senior Natalie Helenthal in the women's weight throw invite (19.84 meters/65-feet-1¼). Junior Ellie Jindra placed second in the women's high jump invite (1.72 meters/5-feet-7¾), and Baker took second in the women's shot put invite (15.95 meters/52-feet-4).
Placing third were junior Alex Hill in the men's weight throw invite (20.56 meters/67-feet-5½), freshman Ethan Tabor in the men's long jump (6.73 meters/22-feet-1), junior Jake Glass in the men's shot put (16.90 meters/55-feet-5½), and senior Mackenzie Leigh in the women's weight throw invite (18.47 meters/60-feet-7¼).
The path to the 2019 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships continues on Saturday (Feb. 9) at the Tiffin Dragon Grand Prix.