In their 2018-19 debut, Ashland University's men's and women's indoor track and field teams combined for one automatic and 13 provisional marks for 2019 NCAA Division II indoor nationals, March 8-9 at Pittsburg State (Kan.).
What will the Eagle men and women do for an encore in their last action for five weeks, Friday (Dec. 7) at Youngstown State and Saturday (Dec. 8) at Findlay?
"We're trying to temper the enthusiasm, but not dampen it," said Ashland head coach Jud Logan. "You realize that it's way more important to be good in February and March than it is in December.
"We in no way peak for these early-December meets."
Still, there were a number of efforts at the Tiffin Alumni Open which bring some excitement for this weekend and beyond.
Redshirt freshman Lindsay Baker shattered the AU women's freshman indoor record in the shot put – by two full meters – and automatically qualified for nationals with a distance of 16.73 meters/54-feet-10¾. That also makes her, after just one collegiate meet, tied for the sixth-best D-II women's indoor shot putter all-time.
Sophomore Trevor Bassitt nearly automatically qualified for nationals in the men's 60-meter hurdles at Tiffin, crossing the finish line in 7.96 seconds.
"We kind of knew that Lindsay Baker had a really good chance of opening with an auto," Logan said. "You normally don't see many running-event autos this early in the season. As close as Trevor Bassitt was, we were absolutely thrilled."
Senior Jim Toth made his move to potentially get to nationals in the weight throw, PRing at Tiffin with a top heave of 19.79 meters/64-feet-11¼.
"Coaching's really fun when you're right," said Logan. "My gold stars of the summer and fall were Jim Toth and Trevor Bassitt. Jim's been the leader of this group for a long time, but he hasn't gone to nationals with us. He's not satisfied. He's one of the top throwers in the country right now."
Baker and Toth were two of three Ashland athletes who earned Week 1 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference track awards earlier this week, along with junior sprinter Gariana Bercheni.
- Both Bassitt and sophomore Channing Phillips are scheduled to compete in the open 400-meter dash, but after his long year of competition as a junior, senior Myles Pringle will be held out until the start of 2019.
"I'm excited to see some of these quarter-milers start rolling," Logan said. "We've got a lot of guys that we want to take a look at, as we start doing auditions for that 4x4 later in the year."
- Ashland women finished in each of the top five spots of the weight throw at Tiffin, and that was without senior Natalie Helenthal competing. She will go at Findlay on Saturday.
"I'm excited to see Natalie open up in her senior campaign, and get the rest of this group going," Logan said.
- Junior Paula Wollenslegel got off to a strong start in the women's high jump at Tiffin, finishing at 1.70 meters/5-feet-7 – very close to her indoor PR of 1.71 meters/5-feet-7¼.
"1.70 has never gotten in. She needs to make one more bar, and she'll be re-joining us for NCAAs again," said Logan.