Outdoor Season Begins Strong

Kaymarie Jones

The Paw Print


Starting strong in the first meet of the track and field outdoor season, the Adams State University Grizzlies are already on their way to the NCAA DII National Outdoor Championship which will be hosted by CSU-Pueblo on May 23. On Saturday March 30, the Grizzlies divided their team in two, sending the sprinters to the Colorado School of Mines and the distance runners to Stanford University in Calif.

At Mines, the men’s 4×100 meters relay team finished ahead of the field in 41.19 seconds with Charles Miller, Chaz Butler, Carlton Lavong, and Jergen Themen. Ackiesha Burnett, Kayon Robinson, Chelsea Fenderson, and Sunayna Wahi also won their relay in 48.29 seconds. In the women’s 1500 meters, Jessie Brunett opened her season running 4.51 69, Melissa Roberts ran fourth in 5.02.32 and Kelsey Corbin was seventh in 5.07.02. On the men’s side, Nate Jones and Alec Nelson finished their three and a half laps in 4.10.95 and 4.13.30.

In Stanford, Kevin Batt, Matt Daniels, and Stephen Emery represented the Grizzlies in the men’s section. Batt finished in 3.42.78, Daniels in 3.45.45, and Emery was at 3.48.32 when the clock stopped. All three men lead the NCAA national list with Batt’s time an automatic qualifying mark. Tabor Stevens was in the men’s 5000 meters at Stanford for the Grizzlies and finished in seventh in 13.57.94, a qualifying time that leads the nation. Alicia Nelson finished fourth in the women’s steeple chase and now leads the nation with her time of 10.09.62. Kelly Lamb was also fourth in her heat, finishing in 10.41.29, and sits third on the national list. In the men’s 10000 meters, David Sanchez hustled his way to the number one spot on the NCAA national list, finishing in 29.23.30.

Ackiesha Burnett, Kelli Williams, and Lydia Hunt competed in the women’s 100 meter hurdles and finished first, sixth and seventh, clocking 14.27, 16.56, and 17.82 respectively. Aaron Williams, Michael Geiger, and Alex Jordan finished in the top three as they crossed the finish line in 15.04, 15.12, and 15.41 in the 110 meter hurdles. Derek Brown was second in the men’s 400 meters in 48.83 and Nathan Bolivar was ninth in 50.37. In a 3.0 head wind, Sunayna Wahi won the women’s 100 meter dash in 12.13 and Chelsea Fenderson got second in 12.40. Wahi, Fenderson and Hunt returned in the 200 meters and finished in 24.61, 25.49, and 27.76. A negative wind speed of 0.9 during the men’s race forced Butler to finish ahead in just 10.48 seconds. Themen was second in 10.92, and Miller was third in 11.29. Butler’s time was good enough for eight on the NCAA national list.

The women’s 800 meters was graced with the likes of Taylor Warren, Brunett, Robinson, Corbin and Roberts. Warren clocked 2.20.43, Brunette finished in 2.26.67, Robinson in 2.31.28, Corbin in 2.32.02 and Roberts in 2.38.33. Steve Lezama completed the men’s section in 1.57.62, John Acuna in 2.00.00, Nate Jones in 2.00.09, and Alec Nelson in 2.04.03. Kelli Williams ran 1.13.51 in the ten hurdles, one lap event and Jordan ran 1.01.55. John Slater was the only Grizzly in the School of Mines 3000 meters but he finished fourth in 9.08.08.

In the field, Justin Bethea won the men’s high jump, clearing two meters even, Wesley Lavong and Joe Hochannadel were second and third in the men’s hammer. Both men threw 53.33m and 44.86m. Lavong returned to the discus and the shotput, winning both events with distances of 46.25m and 16.96m. Katie Kruger and Angelica Payton battled in the ring for the Grizzly women. Kruger won the discus and the shotput, stretching to 38.49m and 14.12m respectively. Payton was fifth and third with distances of 31.57m and 11.13m. Both Kruger and Lavong are in good standings on the NCAA national list.

You can see the Grizzlies in action this weekend at the Air Force Outdoor Combined Events Meet on April 4-5, and also at the New Mexico University Don Kirby Twailand Invitational on April 5-6.

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