MEET RECAP: 2019 NCAA DII Outdoor T&F Championships

Ashland Does It Again; Comes Back on Final Day to Win NCAA Outdoor Title

Ashland might have to just change its nickname to the cardiac kids after the program won the NCAA Division II Men’s Outdoor Track & Field National Championships by a single point after it won the indoor title back in March by the same miniscule margin.

The drama hit full peak during the final event on Saturday, the 4×400 relay.

Ashland came in second, while the almost wire-to-wire leader all weekend, Angelo State, came in eighth. With the performance the team was able to leapfrog the Rams and picked up another national championship in thrilling fashion.

A big factor in the comeback was Myles Pringle who won the national title in the 400, came in fourth in the 200 and seventh in the high jump. Trevor Bassitt was just as involved as he chipped in a victory in the 400H and came in second in the 110H.

Ashland became the first DII men’s program to win both the indoor and outdoor national crowns in the same year since Saint Augustine’s pulled off the feat in 2014.

Lincoln Scores 64 Points On Final Day to Win NCAA Outdoor Title

Heading into Saturday, the Lincoln (Mo.) Blue Tigers found themselves with zero points on the NCAA score with just one more day to go of competition before a champion was crowned.

Anyone who has followed the program this year knows that it boasts a strong sprints squad that could move them up the charts quite a bit; but a first-place finish? That has to be out of the question right?

That’s exactly what Lincoln pulled off as the team scored all of its 64 points on Saturday evening to win the NCAA Division II Women’s Outdoor Track & Field National Championship, its second in a row and the 14th national title overall in program history.

The team won the national championships in the 100 and 200 (Rene Medley), 400 (Kissi-Ann Brown) and 4×100 and 4×400 relays to pull off the final day comeback.

Bringing Home Titles From The Lone Star State

Here is a list of athletes who won titles at the 2019 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships this past weekend in Kingsville, Texas.
Event
Men’s Champion
Women’s Champion
100 Meters
Jonte Baker, Tiffin
Rene Medley, Lincoln (Mo.)
200 Meters
Mobolade Ajomale, Academy of Art
Rene Medley, Lincoln (Mo.)
400 Meters
Myles Pringle, Ashland
Kissi-Ann Brown, Lincoln (Mo.)
800 Meters
Thomas Staines, CSU-Pueblo
Skylyn Webb, UC-Colorado Springs
1500 Meters
Brett Meyer, Fort Hays State
Stephanie Cotter, Adams State
5000 Meters
Zach Panning, Grand Valley State
Carolina Kurgat, Alaska Anchorage
10,000 Meters
Zach Panning, Grand Valley State
Caroline Kurgat, Alaska Anchorage
100/110 Hurdles
Myles Hunter, Minnesota State
Courtney Nelson, Pittsburg State
400 Hurdles
Trevor Bassitt, Ashland
CeCe Telfer, Franklin Pierce
Steeplechase
Leakey Kipkosgei, American International
Alicja Konieczek, Western Colorado
4×100 Relay
Tiffin
Lincoln (Mo.)
4×400 Relay
TAMU-Commerce
Lincoln (Mo.)
High Jump
Ethan Harris, Colorado Mesa
Marisa Gwinner, Tiffin
Pole Vault
Tommy Ansiel, Cedarville
Haven Lander, Pittsburg State
Long Jump
Abraham Seaneka, West Texas A&M
Fatim Affessi, West Texas A&M
Triple Jump
Cervantes Jackson, Albany State
Annie Topal, New Mexico Highlands
Shot Put Eldred Henry, Findley Lindsay Baker, Ashland
Discus Throw
Joseph Brown, TMAU-Commerce
Daisy Osakue, Angelo State
Hammer Throw
Decio Andrade, Angelo State
Racheal Somoye, Texas A&M Kingsville
Javelin Throw
Ricko Meckes, Queens (N.C.)
Morgan Ash, Missouri Southern
Combined Events
Alexandros Spyridonidis, Angelo State
Lauren Huebner, Saginaw Valley

Henry Posts National Record in Winning the Shot Put

Eldred Henry of Findlay has been a name that track & field fans should be familiar with this season as he has put his marks all over the NCAA DII record books.

That trend continued on Saturday evening.

Coming into the meet, Henry already owned the national record in the indoor shot and he made sure he was leaving Texas with the top mark in the outdoor event as well as he had a top heave of 21.47m (70-5.25) to win the national title, the second of the junior’s career.

The performance beat the old mark set by Pittsburg State’s Garrett Appier by almost two full feet and was the best showing in the event since 2016. The throw was also the second-best had by any collegiate athlete this season to go with ranking ninth overall in the world.

Jonte Baker Races to No. 7 Mark of All-Time to Take Men’s 100 Title

Jonte Baker of Tiffin rewrote the record books as he sprinted to the men’s title in the 100 on Saturday evening.

The junior, with one indoor champions but none in outdoors coming into the meet, ran a 10.17 to take down the field by .05 seconds to capture his first outdoor title.

The time ranks him in a tie for the seventh-best performance in the event in NCAA DII history.

(Photo by Evert Nelson/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Back At It Again; Distance Stars from Thursday Capture Doubles on Saturday

Two talented seniors wrapped up their storied careers in Zach Panning of Grand Valley State and Caroline Kurgat of Alaska Anchorage.

And each probably couldn’t have chosen a better way to end it.

Kurgat went first on Saturday and won the women’s 5000 in 17:10.10 and Panning followed her with a title of his own in the men’s event after he posted a 14:10.58.

Both distance stars end their college careers with a double after each won their respective 10,000 race to open the championships on Thursday night.

Kurgat won the seventh national title in her career and became only the third woman in DII history to win the 5,000 and 10,000 in consecutive years.

For Panning, it was his third championship overall as he was just the fifth athlete in NCAA history to ever double in the event at an outdoor national meet.

Myles Hunter Backs Up Record-Setting Prelims With All-Conditions Best Time to Win 110H Crown

Myles Hunter of Minnesota State certainly wasn’t messing around as he posted the No. 11 all-time mark in NCAA DII history in the prelims of the 110H on Friday.

So how did he follow that up on Saturday evening?

Oh, you know, he just came out and ran the eighth-best all conditions mark in the event of all-time as he clocked in at 13.54 to win the title, his second individual crown of these outdoor championships.

It is the second-straight year that the senior has won the outdoor title in the event.

Welcome to Championship Saturday

The day these athletes have been working all year for is finally here!

Today is the final day of the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships which means that by the end of the evening on Saturday we will not only have crowded our men’s and women’s champions, but 27 combined individual titles will get handed out as well.

Below is the complete meet schedule for the final day of competition, with all times listed in Central Time.

    • Women’s Javelin Throw – 11:30 a.m.
    • Women’s Shot Put – 1:15 p.m.
    • Men’s Javelin Throw – 2:25 p.m.
    • Women’s Pole Vault – 2:30 p.m.
    • Women’s Triple Jump – 4:45 p.m.
    • Men’s Shot Put – 5:05 p.m.
    • Women’s 4×100 – 5:10 p.m.
    • Men’s 4×100 – 5:20 p.m.
    • Men’s High Jump – 5:30 p.m.
    • Women’s 1500 – 5:35 p.m.
    • Men’s 1500 – 5:45 p.m.
    • Women’s 100H – 5:55 p.m.
    • Men’s 110H -6:05 p.m.
    • Women’s 400 – 6:15 p.m.
    • Men’s 400 – 6:25 p.m.
    • Women’s 100 – 6:35 p.m.
    • Men’s 100 – 6:45 p.m.
    • Women’s 800 – 6:55 p.m.
    • Men’s 800 – 7:05 p.m.
    • Women’s 400H – 7:20 p.m.
    • Men’s 400H – 7:30 p.m.
    • Women’s 200 – 7:45 p.m.
    • Men’s 200 – 7:55 p.m.
    • Women’s 5000 – 8:05 p.m.
    • Men’s 5000 – 8:30 p.m.
    • Women’s 4×400 – 8:55 p.m.
    • Men’s 4×00 – 9:05 p.m.
    • TEAM AWARDS – 9:20 p.m.

UPDATING THE TEAM RACE

On the men’s side of things Angelo State is starting to run away with the meet after totaling 40 points through eight events during the first two days of competition.

They were the favorites entering into the national championship and look to be well on their way, at least on paper, to the top prize in the sport.

The other teams in the nation will obviously not make this easy on the talented Rams.

The rest of the men’s top-five is rounded out West Texas A&M (18 points), Lincoln (16), TAMU-Kingsville (16) and Grand Valley State (14).

For the women it is a much closer battle as the top-five teams in the nation are separated by just nine points through seven events scored.

West Texas A&M sits atop the charts currently with 24 points and are followed closely by Grand Valley State (19 points), Adams State (17), Angelo State (16) and Ashland (15).

Eleven programs have posted double-digit point totals so far.

Needless to say, it’s going to be an exciting Saturday at Javelina Stadium.

Osakue Continues Assault on Record Book in Winning Discus Title

Daisy Osakue of Angelo State continued her assault on the record books as she won the individual national championship in the discus on Friday afternoon.

You can just call the record book Osakue’s as she now holds the top eight performances in DII history in the women’s discus.

The junior posted a best mark of 60.26m (197-8) to take the top prize at NCAAs as the throw reset her own national outdoor meet record and became the second-best throw of all time in NCAA DII history. She accomplished it on her second toss of the day as she won the event by 15 feet over her next closest competitor.

Osakue becomes the first women to repeat as discus champion since Cecilia Barnes accomplished the feat from 2004 to 2006.

She now holds the eight best throws of all-time in the event in DII history.

In the men’s event Joseph Brown of TAMU-Commerce took the top prize with a career-best heave of 59.54m (195-4).

Jackson Jumps to TJ Title with Best Mark in Event Since 2011

On his second jump of the day Cervantes Jackson of Albany State posted a mark in the men’s triple jump that would go on to win him the national title along with etching his name among the greats of the sport.

Albany State Senior Cervantes Jackson captured his third outdoor title of his career with a record performance in the men’s triple jump at the DII Outdoor Championships (Photo Courtesy: ASUGoldenRams.com)

The senior flew for a best of 16.65m (54-7½) to win his third outdoor national crown of his career. The mark was not only a career, school and meet record, it was the fifth-best performance in the event in DII history along with ranking as the third-best showing by a collegiate athlete across all levels this season.

It was also the best performance in the triple jump by a male athlete since 2011.

Angelo State Takes Top-3 Spots in the Men’s Decathlon

Coming into the national meet, the men from Angelo State were picked as the favorites by the computers to win the whole thing as they held the No. 1 spot in the DII National Track & Field Rating Index for a program record nine straight weeks.

The Rams flexed their muscles in a big way on Friday afternoon to help continue that narrative.

The trio of Alexandros SpyridonidisHarry Maslen and Trpimir Siroki finished in the top-three spots of the men’s decathlon with 7,426, 7,343 and 7,192 points, respectively, with Spyridonidis winning the individual national title.

They weren’t done just there though, which would have been impressive enough, as teammate Dragan Pesic battled hard for an eighth-place finish to give the Rams a grand total of 25 points for just the one event.

It is the second time in NCAA history that a team has been able to pull off the 1-2-3 finishing order at outdoor nationals. Just how rare of a feat are we talking about? The last team that was able to pull it off was Mount St. Mary’s back in 1981.

On the women’s multi side, Lauren Huebner of Saginaw Valley won the heptathlon with a new personal best and school record of 5,364 points.

Konieczek Makes it a Three-Peat in the Steeple

Alicja Konieczek of Western Colorado made it three-in-a-row in capturing the championship in the women’s 3000 steeple on Friday night.

The standout senior won her third straight title in the event after posting a 10:23.89 performance. It is the first time in NCAA DII history that an athlete has won three consecutive outdoor national crowns in the steeple.

Konieczek already entered nationals with the No. 1 time in DII history in the event (9:47.72) and now has nine combined NCAA titles between indoors and outdoors for her career.

Alicja Konieczek made it a sweet three-in-a-row in the women’s steeple at the DII Outdoor Championships (Photo Courtesy Western Colorado Athletics)

Hunter Paces 110H Prelims, Posts Best Time in Event Since 2013

It might have just been the prelims but Myles Hunter of Minnesota State wrote his name into the record books in advancing to the finals of the 110H on Saturday.

The senior posted a top time of 13.68 to place first in the preliminary round which ranks Hunter as the No. 11 athlete all-time in DII history.

It was also the best time posted in the division since 2013.

Hunter is looking to capture the national title in the event for the second year in a row.

Distance Stars Shine in 10K

Two familiar distance standouts captured the 10,000 title on the opening evening of the outdoor championships.

Zach Panning of Grand Valley State and Caroline Kurgat of Alaska Anchorage each won the individual championship with impressive showings on Thursday evening.

Panning claimed his second individual national championship of his career and became the first Laker to win the 10K in program history with a 30:12.30 showing which gave the senior a 47.48 second margin of victory over his next closest opponent.

Kurgat repeated as the 10,000 champion after posting a mark of 36:34.31 to win her title by over 45 seconds over the next closest challenger. It was the sixth national title for the senior’s career and she has another shot to add to that total as she takes to the track for the 5,000 finals on Saturday.

It’s A Clean Sweep in Jumps for Texans!

The West Texas A&M duo of Abraham Seaneke and Fatim Affessi won the men’s long jump and women’s long jump, respectively, on the first day of the meet. Seaneke and Affessi became just the second pair of teammates to sweep the long jump in NCAA DII history. Mark Mason and Shanaka Walker of Saint Augustine’s were the first to do so in 1989.

Affessi, a junior, has now won back-to-back-to-back outdoor titles in the long jump at outdoor NCAAs while Seaneke, a senior, captured his first individual crown across either the indoor or outdoor seasons during his career.

PRE-MEET COVERAGE
Click here to see what was wrote about prior to the start of the meet on Thursday, including history on the last time outdoor nationals were in Texas, the weather for the weekend and who the computers picked as the favorites for the NCAA titles.

Last NCAA Division (Texas) II Step

The NCAA DII Outdoor Championships are returning to Texas for the first time since 2009.

Javelina Stadium (Courtesy of javelinaathletics.com)

Angelo State was the last school from the state to host the national meet which it did back on May 21-23 of that year. Saint Augustine’s won the men’s title with 94 points and Lincoln (Mo.) took top honors on the women’s side with a 85-point performance.

Javelina Stadium will host this year’s and next year’s outdoor championships. The track was just resurfaced around the stadium in January 2019, which holds a maximum capacity of 12,500.

This weekend will be the first time in program history that Texas A&M-Kingsville has hosted the outdoor national meet.

Wish I Was in Texas, Prettiest Place in the World

You couldn’t have asked for better weather than Kingsville is offering this weekend as each day of competition is expected to touch in the low 90’s with close to no chance of precipitation. It will be slightly humid with humidity forecasted for an average of 68 percent over the three days.

Nothing but sun for the athletes over the three days of competition this weekend in Kingsville. (Courtesy of Accuweather.com)

One Last Peek at the National Rankings

On the men’s side, Angelo State enters the national meet as the No. 1 team in the nation, a spot it has held for a program-record nine consecutive weeks. The defending champions and host Texas A&M-Kingsville enters in the No. 2 position with the rest of the top-five rounded out by Texas A&M-Commerce, Lincoln (the only non-Texan team in the top-five) and West Texas A&M.

For the women, Grand Valley State has held in the top spot in the country for eight straight weeks heading into NCAAs. The Lakers are looking for their first outdoor team title since 2012. Lincoln, the defending national champion, come in at the No. 2 spot with the rest of the top-five going to Adams StateMissouri Southern and Angelo State.

A complete list of the national rankings heading into the championships can be found here.