MEET RECAP: Ashland Men, Adams State Women Win National Titles at NCAA DII Indoor Championships
PITTSBURG, Kan. – It was another weekend for the record books as the men from Ashland and the women from Adams State captured the 2019 NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Robert W. Plaster Center on Saturday evening.
The battle for the men’s title saw the meet go until the last race of the day while the women’s race was a little more one-sided as the Grizzlies got out to a lead and used its great depth to bring home another national championship.
What a meet on the men’s side as the national title wasn’t decided until the very last event of the day in the 4×400.
Entering the final race five teams found themselves in fighting distance of the championships. Adams State was leading with 37 points but did not field a relay team so they were going to get passed by someone most likely.
The question was who?
Ashland and Tiffin each trailed by three points while Grand Valley State was within 6.75. Tiffin also did not have a relay unit going however so it was going to come between the Eagles and the Lakers to unseat the Grizzlies for the national crown.
Ashland and Grand Valley State were each in the first heat and the Eagles team of Channing Phillips, Paul Murray, Myles Pringle and Brayden Chaney outran the Lakers by just .01 seconds to win the heat. Their time would eventual stand as the fifth-best in the event overall, giving Ashland its first national championship in program history by just a single point.
Pringle ran the fastest time ever recorded in the 400 in DII history (45.67) to win the lone individual title for the Eagles (he also finished fourth overall in the high jump). The majority of the team’s points came from their strong throwing trio of Brent Fairbanks, Nick Zak and Alex Hill who went No. 2, 3 and 4 in the weight throw.
Adams State ended up as the national runner up with 37 points. Tiffin (34 points), Grand Valley St. (33.25) and Academy of Art rounded out the nation’s top-five.
Close was not the name of the game on the women’s side of things as the Adams State Grizzlies were crowded the national champions for the second time in the past three indoor seasons.
Adams State recorded 87 points overall, the most scored by a program since 2012. It is the Grizzlies fourth indoor national title in school history.
Individual champions for Adams State included Dianna Johnson (60), Kandace Thomas (200), Stephanie Cotter and the program’s DMR team. Eilish Flanagan was also a top contributor as she finished second in both the 3000 and 5000.
To go with the relay team, 11 athletes scored for the Grizzlies overall.
Grand Valley State was the national runner up with 64 points. Lincoln (Mo./47 points), Alaska Anchorage (34 points) and St. Augustine’s (25) completed the rest of the top-five.