(Neb.)- Three Eagles Headed To National Indoor Championships
CHADRON, Neb. -- Three Chadron State College track and field athletes will be competing on Friday at the NCAA Division II National Indoor Track and Field Championships in Pittsburg, Kansas.
They are weight throwers Ashton Hallsted of Casper, Wyoming, Ashlyn Hanson of Seward, Nebraska, and long jumper Isaac Grimes of Rancho Verde, California.
Both events will take place in the late afternoon.
The men's long jump is due to start at 4:50 p.m. (CST) Friday and the women's weight throw will begin at 4:55.
CSC coach Riley Northrup noted that the long jump pit is at one end of the Plaster Center at Pittsburg State University and the throwing area is at the opposite end.
Hallstead and Hanson are 15th and 16th on the national qualifying list with throws of 60 feet, 5 ¼ inches and 60-3 ¾, respectively. Both marks came at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championships on Friday, February 23 in Golden, Colorado. They placed second and third in that competition.
Hallsted is a sophomore and Hanson is a senior.
Grimes, who is a freshman, is 17th on the men's long jump list going to nationals with his mark of 23-11 ¾ that he posted in early December at a meet at Colorado Mines. He also went at least 23-5 ¼ at four more meets this season, but was unable to compete at the RMAC Championships because of a tight hamstring.
Northrup said Grimes has recovered surprisingly well and should be at nearly top speed by Friday.
The national long jump leader is freshman Klehn Bjoern of Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tenn., with a mark of 25-3 ½. Senior Michane Ricketts of the Academy of Art in California is second, just one-fourth of an inch shorter.
In both 2015 and 2016, Chadron State's Damarcus Simpson, now a senior at the University of Oregon, was the long jump runner-up at the national indoor championships with leaps of 25-4 ½ and 25-11, respectively. He then won the outdoor long jump championships both years.
A mark of 24-4 ¼ netted eighth place at the 2016 indoor meet, also at Pittsburg State. Northrup said Grimes is definitely capable of a jump in that vicinity.
The weight throw leaders going to nationals this weekend are Destiny Coward of Southern Connecticut University at 69-10 ¼ and Michaela Dendinger of Wayne State, CSC's sister college in northeast Nebraska, at 65-6.
Chadron State's Mel Herl placed third in the weight throw at last year's National Indoor Championships with a mark of 69-4, then won the shot put the next day. Coward was fourth in the weight throw at 65-7.
The two women who placed ahead of Herl in the weight throw at last year's national indoor championships, Tynelle Gumbs of Findlay University of Ohio at 70-3, and Kaitlyn Long of Winona State in Minnesota, at 69-7 ½, were listed as juniors then, but neither is on this year's list of national qualifiers.
It took a throw of 62-8 to earn eighth place at last year's showdown.
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