Eric R. Flores
The Paw Print
A successful defense of her title in the 60-meter hurdles and a runner-up finish in the 60-meter dash from junior Indira Spence led the Adams State women to a third-place team finish at the 2011 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships.
Grand Valley won the team title with 83 points, well ahead of women’s team runner-up Lincoln (Mo.) University which checked in with 51. Univ. of New Haven (Conn.) was fourth and Univ. of Nebraska-Omaha fifth with 32 and 29 points, respectively.
The Grizzlies third-place team finish was their best since 2008 when they also placed third at the NCAA indoor meet.
One of two sprinters to make the finals of both the 60-meter dash and hurdles, Spence was in action first in the dash. Spence dipped under her season-best time of 7.37 seconds from the day before’s prelims. She was just edged out by Judith Riley of Lincoln who won the title in 7.34 seconds with Spence following in 7.36, earning her tenth all-American honors by doing so.
With a chip on her shoulder after being edged in the dash, Spence demolished the field in the hurdle final. Her time of 8.07 seconds was just 2/100ths off her D-II Championships record time from last year, and was well ahead of runner-up Raven Clay of Findlay who crossed the line in 8.28 seconds.
Joining Spence as an all-American honoree in 60 meter hurdles was junior KayMarie Jones In her first NCAA Championships race Jones ran a personal best time of 8.47 seconds, cutting 4/100ths off her time from the prelims and placing fourth.
In the 5,000 meter race, sophomore Kristen McGlynn ran her way to a fourth place finish. After hanging with the leaders for the first 3K of the race, McGlynn was locked into a race for third with Western Washington’s Sarah Porter over the final mile, and came up just short to finish less than a second back in 16 minutes, 45.89 seconds.
The performance was McGlynn’s first individual all-American honor on the track to go along with her two such honors in cross country, as well as her team honors in from the Grizzly women’s distance medley relay on Friday night.
Junior Cassie Mitchell was in action for the Grizzlies in the mile run, taking eighth place with a time of 5:02.05 for one team point, but was unable to repeat for fifth-place showing from last year’s D-II Championships.
Also competing at her first NCAA Championships was freshman Katie Kruger who was in action in the throwing ring. Kruger advanced to the finals with a throw of 14.21 meters (46 feet, 7 ½ inches) on her final shot put attempt of the prelims. That throw stood as her best of the day as Kruger placed ninth.
In all, the Grizzlies received six all-American performances and Spence, Jones, McGlynn and Mitchell were double all-Americans at this year’s championships. Jones, McGlynn and Mitchell were part of the runner-up DMR squad that included junior Lindsey Grasmick.
The Adams State men’s track & field team added four all-American efforts on day two of the 2011 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships at the Albuquerque (N.M.) Convention Center, raising the Grizzlies final count to five and paving the way to a seventh-place team finish.
The men’s team title was won by Abilene Christian University which racked up 49 points, while Ashland (Ohio) University and Lincoln (Mo.) University finished in a close second and third with 42 and 41 points, respectively.Central Missouri University followed in fourth with 36.5 points and Emporia State rounded out the top five with 32.5.
A ninth-place finisher in the mile a year ago, sophomore Keegan Calmes ran the second fastest time in Friday’s prelims and owned the fastest time this season of any runner in Saturday’s final. Calmes was up front early and helped to push the pace, but faded near the end to finish fourth in a time of 4 minutes, 10.44 seconds.
Calmes, who was an indoor all-American last year as a member of the Grizzlies’ winning distance medley relay squad, earned his second indoor all-American honors.
Redshirt freshman Antoine Malarte was also running in the mile final, finishing ninth in a tight pack with a time of 4:14.15.
Equaling Calmes’ fourth-place finish was junior Drew Graham who was less ½ second off his season best with a finishing time of 1:52.86. Graham made a late surge to move up four spots from eighth on the final lap, finishing one spot shy of his third-place finish from a year ago.
Senior Brandon Birdsong made the race in the men’s 5,000 meter run, charging hard with just over a mile remaining and holding the lead for several laps. But Birdsong was unable to hold off a strong field, and ended with a sixth-place finish in a time of 14:58.25.
Also representing the Grizzlies in the 5K was junior Nathan Sellers who came across in 15:15.63 in for tenth place.
Competing at the indoor nationals for the first time, senior Blair Sohl eclipsed his previous personal best in the pole vault, clearing 4.95 meters (16 feet, 2 ¾ inches) on his third and final attempt at the height, a PR by 3 ½ inches and good for eighth place.
Sohl had three attempts at 5.05 meters (16’6 ¾”), which would have taken over the Adams State record in the event, but just missed as the bar bounced off late after being grazed on his second attempt.
Freshman Wesley Lavong was also a first-timer at the national meet for the Grizzlies, throwing in the shot put. Lavong advanced out of flight one and into the finals with a toss of 17.34 meters (56’10 ¾”), but fouled on all three of his attempts in the final to finish ninth.
ASC’s four Saturday all-Americans joined freshman Alex Estes.