Saint Augustine’s Men, West Texas A&M’s Women Claim NCAA DII Outdoor Team Titles
BRADENTON, Fla. – One team has climbed to the top before. Another accomplished the feat for the first time on Saturday.
The Saint Augustine’s men’s program won its 16th NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championship at IMG Academy on Saturday night – as well as its 5th title in a row – while West Texas A&M was victorious on the women’s side for the program’s 1st ever outdoor team title. While both teams will be bringing home the hardware to their respective universities, the two teams took different paths to get there.
The Lady Buffs (64 points ) won by a whopping 20 points over runner-up Grand Valley State (44 points), marking the largest margin of victory at the NCAA Division II women’s outdoor championships since 2008 when Abilene Christian defeated Adams State by 21½ points.
Fatim Affessi and Rellie Kaputin went 1-2 in the long jump on the opening day of the meet with marks of 6.68m (21-11) and 6.53m (21-5½), respectively. Shortly thereafter, Norma Cunigan posted the meet’s first big upset by defeating returning champion Mariah Garcia and two new names to the NCAA Division II collegiate outdoor record book in Mel Herl and Daisy Osakue in the discus throw with a toss of 53.92m (176-11).
Kaputin added a triple jump title to her name on the final day of the meet to go along with her indoor championship in the same event, leaping 13.28m (43-7). That mark is tied for the 2nd-best jump in NCAA Division II outdoor history.
The men’s title literally went down to the wire.
Ashland and Tiffin were tied for the lead heading into the final event with 50 points apiece. However, neither were entered into the 4×400 relay, meaning the championship basically came down to Saint Augustine’s and Lincoln (Mo), who were 3rd (48 points) and 4th (44 points) respectively. The Falcons’ went out and ran a 3:06.96, edging the Blue Tigers by a mere 1.02 seconds for the title. That event title was 1 of just 2 for the Falcons on the weekend, as Shawn Rowe won the 400 hurdles, as well.
Below are highlights of each day of the competition.
Day 3 Recap (Sat., May 27)
Aside from the team championships, there were a number of exciting performances.
Tia-Adana Belle posted her 3rd-straight victory in the 400 hurdles, besting her own NCAA Division II outdoor record. A time of 55.42 allowed her to become just the 2nd woman in the history of NCAA Division II to win 3-consecutive 400 hurdle titles, joining Lewis’ Lana Jekabsone.
She was not the only one who rewrote the record books this weekend.
Emily Trost of Minnesota-Duluth won the women’s 1500 meters with the 3rd-best time in the history of the event at 4:12.64. On the men’s side, Nils Fischer of Angelo State won the javelin throw title with the 5th-best mark in the history of the event at 75.05m (246-2). Mobolade Ajomale also ran the 7th-fastest time in history the 100 meters for his 2nd title in the event this year at 10.17.
Additionally, Missouri Southern’s Emily Presley (pole vault), Cedarville’s Carsyn Koch (800 meters) and Merrimack’s Carly Muscaro (400 meters) successfully defended their titles. Muscaro added a 2nd championship in the 200 meters.
Day 2 Recap (Fri., May 26)
The 2nd day of the meet featured a slew of firsts. But there were also some expected victories.
Emilyn Dearman took the 1st title of the 2nd day of the meet by winning the heptathlon with a total of 5625 points. The senior from Pittsburg State led from the opening event and staved off a last minute push from Angelo State’s Kami Norton, who finished 2nd with 5469 points.
In terms of 1st-time champions, there were quite a few.
Marissa McCay of Humboldt State won the 1st title in program history, posting high jump mark of 1.77m (5-9¾). Duke Taylor of Malone won the program’s 1st men’s outdoor national championship with a victory in the discus throw at 58.78m (192-10) Florian Obst also made history, capturing the 1st men’s decathlon title in Texas A&M-Commerce history. Despite being in 6th after the 1st and 2nd events, the freshman took over the competition in the 3rd event on his way to a total of 7576 points. Daniel Michalski took home the 1st men’s outdoor championship in Cedarville history with a 8:44.49 in the steeplechase.
Also wrapping up his day a champion was Albany State’s Cervantes Jackson with a triple jump mark of 16.30m (55-5¾), the 1st for the program in the event since 2005.
Day 1 Recap (Thurs., May 25)
Things got off to a hot start with a slew of field events, starting with the women’s hammer throw. Chadron State’s Mel Herl came away with the title with a mark of 65.27m (214-1). Following that competitions was the men’s pole vault (Northwest Nazarene’s Payton Lewis), the men’s hammer (Ashland’s Daniel Roberts) and the men’s long jump (Sedeekie Edie of Lincoln (Mo.)).
On the track, Missouri Southern’s Vincent Kiprop successfully defended his 10,000 meter title, missing the NCAA Division II championship record by about 6 seconds with a time of 28:32.07, while Grand Valley State’s Kendra Foley wrapped up the evening with a victorious 10,000 meter run of 34:36.21.