Day 1 of the 2019 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Indoor Championships on Saturday (Feb. 23) was a successful one for Ashland University's men's and women's teams.
The men's weight throw saw the Eagles earn each of the top four spots, racking up 29 team points in the process. Sophomore Brent Fairbanks took top honors with a top effort of 21.43 meters, followed by juniors Alex Hill (20.76 meters) and Nick Zak (20.65 meters). Senior Jim Toth, who was fourth at 19.80 meters, earned an improved provisional mark for 2019 NCAA Division II indoor nationals, March 8-9 at Pittsburg State (Kan.).
On the women's side in the weight throw, four Eagles combined for 22 team points, led by GLIAC-champion senior Natalie Helenthal (19.13 meters). Senior Mackenzie Leigh was third (18.35 meters), redshirt freshman Lindsay Baker was fifth (18.08 meters), and redshirt freshman Taylor Kroll was seventh (17.59 meters).
Buoying the AU men's effort was the second-place distance medley relay team of sophomore Danny Friebel, freshman Brayden Chaney, sophomore Sam Shockey and sophomore Ian Johnson (10:02.60). The quartet also earned a new nationals provisional time.
Freshman Keshun Jones improved upon his previous provisional mark in the men's 200-meter prelims (21.59 seconds).
Junior Paula Wollenslegel was runner-up in the women's pentathlon with a new provisional mark of 3,264 points, while freshman Allie Holmes was fourth (3,081). Junior Amber Otermat was tied for sixth in the women's pole vault at 3.66 meters/12-feet-0), junior Samantha Didion was seventh in the women's long jump (5.33 meters/17-feet-6), and also placing seventh was the women's distance medley relay team of freshman Destini Oler, freshman Cheyanne Davis, senior Tiffany Pryce and freshman Cassandra Ponzi (12:44.76).
A new provisional was earned by junior Gariana Bercheni in the women's 200 dash prelims (24.82 seconds).
In the team standings, the Eagle men are first through four of 17 events with 43 points, followed by Grand Valley State (40) and Saginaw Valley State (21); the AU women are second through six of 17 events with 41.5 points, trailing only the Lakers (102).