Ashland University's indoor track and field teams wasted little time starting down the road toward nationals, as the No. 3-ranked men and No. 25-ranked women combined for an automatic and 12 provisional marks on Saturday (Dec. 2) at the Tiffin Alumni Open.
1. Junior Myles Pringle qualified quickly for 2018 NCAA Division II indoor nationals (March 9-10 at Pittsburg State), winning the men's high jump with an automatic-qualifying distance of 2.15 meters/7-feet-0.5. This is nothing new for Pringle in season-opening outings – to begin the 2017 outdoor campaign, he set a program record in the 400-meter dash at 45.99 seconds, and automatically qualified for nationals.
2. Six Eagle weight throwers, three men and three women, all turned in provisional nationals distances. Sophomore Alex Hill, freshman Brent Fairbanks and junior Jim Toth went 1-2-4 on the men's side. Hill won the event at 20.50 meters/67-feet-3¼, Fairbanks was second at 19.66 meters/64-feet-6, and Toth took fourth at 18.63 meters/61-feet-1½. Juniors Natalie Helenthal and Mackenzie Leigh took first and second with provisional marks of 18.86 meters/61-feet-10½ and 18.30 meters/60-feet-0.5, respectively, while freshman Gianna Dipippo was fourth at 17.07 meters/56-feet-0.
3. The Eagle men saw three provisional qualifiers in the shot put, as well. Sophomores Nick Zak (third, 16.36 meters/53-feet-8 1/4), Jacob Glass (fourth, 16.27 meters/53-feet-4 1/2) and Hill (sixth, 15.99 meters/52-feet-5 1/2) all turned in the provos in that event. Ashland's men also received two provisional nationals marks in the 60-meter hurdles. Freshman Trevor Bassitt (second, 8.12 seconds) and sophomore Arthur Greenlee IV (third, 8.22 seconds) each hit provisional times in the indoor opener. Bassitt and Greenlee IV also teamed up with freshman Brenden Archer and sophomore Paul Murray to win the men's 4x400-meter relay in 3:26.35.
4. Yet another underclassman, sophomore Amber Otermat, provisionally qualified for nationals by finishing second in the women's pole vault at 3.57 meters/11-feet-8½. As a freshman in 2016-17, Otermat was tied for the 14th-best D-II women's pole vaulter indoors at 3.79 meters/12-feet-5¼.
5. The youth movement continued throughout Saturday's meet. In the men's 60 dash, Archer (6.94 seconds) and fellow freshman Channing Phillips (7.04 second) finished 1-2; while Murray (35.92 second), Archer (36.07) and Greenlee IV (37.85) took spots 1-3 in the men's 300 dash.
6. Other youngsters winning events to start 2017-18 were freshman Maddi Yingst in the women's 300 dash (41.87), sophomore Cassidy Newburg in the women's 500 meters (1:19.54), and freshman Rachel Miller, freshman Angel Frye and Newburg, along with senior Marie Hammer, in the women's 4x400 relay (4:07.70).
7. Senior Hannah Bartlome, coming off her first outdoor nationals appearance, started her final indoor campaign strong, finishing tied for first in the women's high jump at 1.62 meters/5-feet-3¾, while Hammer won the women's long jump at 5.23 meters.
9. Yet another rookie, Madeline Kreller, was second in the women's 300 dash in 42.30.
10. Also finishing third in their respective events were Hammer in the women's 60 hurdles (9.33 seconds), Newburg in the women's 60 dash (7.86 seconds) and junior Daniel Fridley in the men's long jump (6.04 meters/19-feet-9¾).
The second and final event of the 2017 portion of the 2017-18 schedule – Friday (Dec. 8) and Saturday (Dec. 9) at the Kent State Golden Flash Gala.