For the first time perhaps all spring, Ashland University's men's and women's outdoor track and field teams competed in ideal weather conditions on Friday (April 15) and Saturday (April 16) at the Northeast Ohio Quad in Akron.
The Eagles took full advantage, coming away with eight new and four improved provisional marks for the 2016 NCAA Division II outdoor nationals, May 26-28 in Bradenton, Fla.
Senior Eric Thompkins was responsible for all or part of three new provisional times, winning the 200-meter dash (21.15 seconds), finishing fifth in the 100 dash (10.60) and placing fourth as a member of the 4x100 relay team (41.05), along with freshmen Devin Snowden, Myles Pringle and Brandon Wilson.
Pringle also earned two new individual provisional marks in winning the 400 dash in 46.91 and finishing sixth in the high jump at 2.10 meters.
On the women's side, senior Lauren Ellsworth was the third and final AU athlete to be a part of three new provisional efforts. She won the 100 dash in 11.71 seconds and the 200 dash in 24.31, and was part of the third-place 4x100 relay team (46.76), along with freshman Samantha Duale, junior Shelby Jordan and sophomore Irene Skinner.
Saturday's improved provisionals came from Skinner in a winning effort in the 400 dash (55.07) and junior Megan Tomei in a third-place showing in the shot put (14.30 meters).
Junior Jackie Genetin was second in the 800 run (2:14.18), and senior Kylee Bernthisel was runner-up in the 3,000 run (10:46.26). Senior Abby Strock, Ellsworth, Skinner and Genetin took third in the 4x400 relay in 3:53.00.
On the men's side, junior Jason Zahn was second in the discus (54.81 meters), junior William Robinson was runner-up in the 400 hurdles (54.58), the 4x400 relay team of Robinson, Pringle, freshman Tyler Sievert and junior Columbus Millet placed second (3:17.69) and senior William Cutler took third in the 3,000 run (9:01.75).
On Friday, both Tomei (fourth, 56.10 meters) and redshirt freshman Natalie Helenthal (fifth, 54.36) improved on previous provisional distances in the hammer throw. In the men's hammer, junior Jordan Crayon (66.21), sophomore Clayton Jury (61.85) and junior Bryn Campbell (60.74) finished 2-3-4.
In the dual meet scores, Ashland's women went 1-2 (99-88 win over Youngstown State, 103-84 loss to Kent State and 115-81 loss to Akron), while the AU men were 0-3 (91-70 loss to YSU, 92-72 loss to KSU and 117-60 loss to Akron).
Ashland's men and women will split up for their next weekend of action, going to both the Jesse Owens Track & Field Classic in Columbus and the Sparky Adams Invitational in Berea on Friday (April 22) and Saturday (April 23).