By Aaron Kinnischtzke
ALAMOSA, Colo. – One of Adams State University’s proudest traditions, especially for athletics, is its track and field program, which has made successes year after year for decades of the school’s history. With the indoor season wrapping up, the Grizzlies head to Pittsburgh, Kansas for the 2019 Division II Indoor Track and Field National Championships, where they look to perform against the best that NCAA Division II has to offer.
Two weekends ago, Adams State University hosted the 2019 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference’s Indoor Track and Field Championships on campus at Plachy Hall. All 14 RMAC teams showed up for the two-day competition, and among some of the top performers over the weekend, many were Adams State Grizzlies. The Adams State women brought home the team title as they finished first overall in their point total at the end of two days as a result of dominating performances from their distance and sprint athletes alike. They look for similar team success heading into this weekend in Pittsburgh.
On the men’s side the Grizzlies also had elite performances as well as numerous first-place finishers, but did not have enough team points to take home the team title and had to settle for a fourth-place overall tie with Colorado Mesa. Among these athletes who set lifetime personal bests and took home individual victories was sprinter Ian Kerr. Kerr broke the RMAC record twice during the weekend in the 200-meter dash as he broke it in the preliminary round and then broke his own record that stood less than 24 hours the following day to retain the RMAC crown in the 200. He goes into this weekend the second-ranked competitor in the 200-meter dash in all of Division II. “I’m just trying to go out and run as fast as I am physically capable of, and God-willing, hopefully bring home a national championship”, Kerr said in a statement regarding his upcoming performance this weekend.
For a team that is notoriously distance-heavy in how its team is structured, this is one of the more well-rounded teams of the last few years that Adams State has taken to nationals. The Grizzlies will be well-represented in sprints, distance, and field events this weekend in Pittsburgh, and both the men’s and women’s squads have a great chance to get athletes on the podium and score points to help the team work towards a national title.
The women’s list of competitors are as follows: Competing in distance events are Tiffany Christensen, Stephanie Cotter, Roisin Flanagan, Eilish Flanagan, Haleigh Hunter-Galvan, Malena Grover and Kaylee Bogina. Competing in sprint and hurdle events are Kandace Thomas, Dianna Johnson and Owenika Watson. Kandace Thomas will also represent the Grizzly women in the long jump. On the men’s side, their list of athletes are as follows: competing in distance events are Sydney Gidabuday, Elias Gedyon, Kale Adams, Isaiah Rodarte, Dalton Graham, Dane Blomquist and Grayson Freeman. The lone sprint representative is Ian Kerr in the 200, but Augustine Larranaga and Evan Bell will also be competing as mid-distance/sprint legs on the distance medley relay. Rounding out the list of men’s athletes is senior Sam Reid who will be competing in the shotput.The meet kicks off the morning of Friday, March 8th from the Pittsburg State track and field complex in Pittsburg, Kansas, and runs all day both Friday and Saturday.