The Paw Print
Many records were shattered by the Grizzlies at the two-day championship hosted by the RMAC newcomers, Black Hills State University, in Spearfish, SD. It took sixteen individual wins and eight field house records from the Adams State Grizzly track and field team to gain another Rocky Mountain Athletic Championship (RMAC) title. The Grizzly men and women went out with a bang in Saturday’s finale, with the men piling up two hundred points and the women scoring one hundred and eighty-one points.
On Friday evening, spectators and members of the Adams State team could be heard chanting and cheering in the Don Young Center, supporting Justin Bethea in the men’s high jump. Bethea, who worked at giving the Grizzlies a great start, won the event in 2.05 meters. Another win came from Katie Kruger in the women’s shotput. Kruger threw 14.66 meters and Angelica Payton was eight with a personal best throw of 12.44 meters. Both women were third and sixth in the women’s weight throw on Friday evening.
Three Grizzlies, Chaz Butler, Jurgen Themen, and Justin Smit, all lined up against five other top division II sprinters in the men’s 60 meter. It was Butler who took the gold in 6.73 seconds, and erased the RMAC record set four years ago. Themen and Smit were third and fourth, in 6.92 and 6.94 seconds. Butler also captured the 200m in 21.59 seconds and Smit took third in 22.08 seconds. In the 60m hurdles, Aaron Williams took second in 8.34, Michael Geiger was third in 8.37, and Alex Jordan was eight in 8.66 seconds. Carlton Lavong found new heights to explore in the men’s triple jump. Lavong leaped to 14.67 meters and second and Alex Estes was fifth with 13.80 meters. Both men also competed in the long jump with Lavong breaking the RMAC record which was set in 1999. His jump was 7.52 meters and Estes was eight at 6.66 meters. In the men’s 400m Derek Brown clocked 49.45 for third.
In the men’s mile, Tabor Stephens took gold in 4.10.11, Stephen Emery was fourth in 4.19.48, and ninth place went to Quin Ralston in 4.22.69. Matt Daniels did his best while fighting the flu and competed hard for the Grizzlies, finishing in a time of 4.27. 72. Jacob Rider won the 800 meters in 1.55.34, Martin Sanchez was second in 1.55.53 and Daniels was fourth in 1.55.96. Kevin Batt easily won the men’s 3000 meters in 8.20.40, David Sanchez was third in 8.26.68, sixth went to Jovanny Godinez at 8.34.01. Andrew Roberts took ninth in 8.40.44. Wesley Lavong took home the gold in the men’s shotput with his distance of 16.82 meters. Joel Osbourne came in at 15.33, Joe Hochanadel took sixth in 14.54 and Zach Baxter was eight with 14.30 meters. The men rounded up the meet, finishing fifth in the 4×400 meter relay, clocking 3.27.98 with Brown, Jordan, Sanchez and Rider.
Zenobia Sims copped the women’s 60 meter dash in 7.59 seconds. Chelsea Fenderson ran 7.81 for fifth and Sunayna Wahi 7.91 seconds for seventh. Sim was also second in the long jump with 5.50 meters. In the 60m hurdles, Ackiesha Burnett broke the stadium record, crossing the line in 8.56 seconds. Another stadium record was broken by Kaymarie Jones in the women’s 200m. Jones ran 24.32. Sims was third in 25.04, Fenderson was sixth in 25.50, Wahi clocked 26.21 for seventh and Megan Hannafious ran 26.63 for eight. In a close finish, Jones smashed the RMAC record in the women’s 400m dash. She stopped the clock at 54.38. Kayon Robinson was second in 54.41. Hannafious was fifth in 59.02 seconds. Alicia Nelson took an early lead in the women’s mile and crossed the line first in 4.58.77. Alyssa Selve ran 5.03.98, Mellissa Roberts clocked 5.23.37, and Kelsy Corbin ran 5.27.29 for fourth, seventh and ninth. Nelson also took charge of the women’s mile and finished ahead in 9.49.46. Second went to Kristen McGlynn-Arendt in 9.51.93, Lauren Martin was third in 9.58.75, Jesse Burnett finished in 10.04.55 for fifth and Kelly Lamb was eight in 10.09.46.
Taylor Warren and Maura O’Brien ran season best times in the women’s 800m. Warren clocked 2.19.64 for second, O’Brien crossed in 2.20.12, and Corbin finished in 2.25.30. The women’s 4x400m relay team finished way ahead of the field, capturing a spot on the national list. The team of Hannafious, Robinson, Jones, and Sims, ran 3.48.77, breaking the stadium record. It was a great end to a fantastic season.