YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The nationals marks spigot didn't get turned on until late for Ashland University's men's indoor track and field team on Friday (Jan. 18).
But once the marks started flowing, it was hard to stop them.
At the Youngstown State College Invite at the Watson and Tressel Training Site (WATTS), the Eagle men, ranked No. 4 in the country, earned three new and two improved nationals marks for 2019 NCAA Division II indoor nationals, March 8-9 at Pittsburg State (Kan.)
"It felt amazing. I knew something special was going to happen," Ramsey said, "from just the way I've been warming up, the way I've been talking to coach and the way he wanted me to progress."
"It's not just me doing something special in the 200. It's a collective unit," Ramsey said.
In the men's weight throw, sophomore Brent Fairbanks not only won the event, but did so with a facility-record heave of 21.92 meters/71-feet-10¾. Fairbanks already had the top D-II mark in the country coming in, and improved upon it, and he nearly reached his PR of 22.16 meters/72-feet-8½, which makes him the seventh-best D-II indoor weight thrower all-time.
"It felt pretty good," Fairbanks said of the record-breaking throw. "Today, I was kind of trying to figure out my throws. We've been throwing a lot of heavy balls. I was able to click into a new mentality in the meet. In the later throws, starting in like round three, round four, I was able to find that new speed, able to find that next gear and work off of that."
Also in the men's weight, junior Nick Zak took third place at 20.15 meters/66-feet-1 ½, improving upon his previous provisional distance.
Also winning their respective events on Friday were sophomore Miyuki Sugiyama in the women's high jump, unseeded (1.60 meters/5-feet-3); sophomore Ian Johnson in the men's mile run (4:17.75), Chaney in the men's 400 dash (48.80 seconds), Bassitt in the men's 60 hurdles (7.96 seconds), sophomore Garrick Manning in the pole vault, unseeded (4.48 meters/14-feet-8¼), and redshirt freshman Lindsay Baker in the women's shot put (15.23 meters/49-feet-11¾).
"So today, I just wanted to come out and try and work my way back into the 7's in the 60 hurdles, so I'm happy I was able to do that," Bassitt said. "Coach has told me he wanted me to provo in the 200 today, so to be able to do that, and to have the massive PR and to run the hurdles like I did, it's really a blessing. And we wanted to run hard in the 4x4, and we definitely did that, so it was a great meet for me and for a lot of people on this team."
Placing second were senior Natalie Helenthal in the women's weight throw (18.95 meters/62-feet-2¼), sophomore David Amstutz in the men's shot put (16.72 meters/54-feet-10¼), junior Jacob Bon in the men's long jump (6.89 meters/22-feet-7¼), sophomore Sam Shockey in the men's 800 run (1:54.76), sophomore Madeline Kreller in the women's 200 dash (25.38 seconds), junior Ellie Jindra in the women's high jump, seeded (1.71 meters/5-feet-7¼), junior Alex Hill in the men's weight throw (20.70 meters/67-feet-11), and sophomore Jared Ryder in the men's triple jump (13.69 meters/44-feet-11).
Third-place finishes were turned in by freshman Keshun Jones in the men's 400 dash (49.80 seconds), Ramsey in the men's 60 dash (6.94 seconds), senior Samantha Duale in the women's 60 dash (7.74 seconds), and sophomore Kyle Hutchinson in the men's pole vault, unseeded (4.33 meters/14-feet-2½).
The end of January will see the Eagle men and women going two different places on Jan. 25-26 – the Penn Nationals and the Findlay Alumni Classic.