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(Neb.)-Eagles Continue To Improve At Texas Meet

By: Dennis Brown Posted at: 04/08/2018 07:47 AM
CANYON, Texas -- April 7, 2018 -- Numerous Chadron State College track and field athletes continued to improve their marks Friday and Saturday during the West Texas A&M Classic in Canyon.

Eagles won four events, including both multi-events, and also claimed three seconds and three thirds in the stiff completion. 

The host Buffaloes won both team titles with nearly identical point totals.  The women scored 135 points and the men 132.  The Chadron State men placed fourth with 86.5 points and the women were fifth with 70.5.  More than a dozen schools competed, although several of them, including the Eagles, did not have full squads.

Chadron State juniors Chasidy Horton and Gregg Peterson were among the pacesetters in the multi-events.  Horton won the heptathlon with 4,153 points, 164 more than runner-up Courtney Batchman of Fort Hays State in Kansas.  Peterson and Weston Riner of Fort Hays State tied for first in the decathlon, each with 5,694 points.

The Eagles' Ty Thurston, a sophomore competing in the decathlon for the first time, was third with 5,545 points.  

Chadron State's other event winners were senior Alisha Heelan, who ran the 400 meters in a season-best 59.0 seconds, and freshman Isaac Grimes, who went 47 feet, 5 ¾ inches in the triple jump.

Grimes won the long jump at the Eagles' previous two outdoor meets this spring, but skipped than event this weekend to focus on the triple jump with hopes of qualifying for nationals in both events.

Grimes' mark of 25-1 ¼  at Colorado State-Pueblo a week ago ranks third in the nation in NCAA Division II and is expected to easily qualify him for the NCAA DII Outdoor Championships. He earned All-American honors at the indoor meet by placing sixth in the long jump at 24-9.

As usual, Chadron State throwers excelled again at the West Texas A&M Classic, even though standoutCory Martens did not compete because of a knee injury.

Sophomore Ashton Hallsted was third in the discus at 157-5, some five feet and eight inches better that her previous best.  The provisional mark put her at No. 11 in NCAA DII as of the start of the weekend, and pushed her within the margins of the 2017 NCAA field. She also was fifth in the hammer throw with another career-best, 161-5. 

Senior Ashlyn Hanson was second in the women's hammer throw at an NCAA provisional qualifying 178-5 and third in the javelin at 112-9. She holds a season best of 181-9 in the hammer which would have been accepted last year by a small margin, but she also has four weeks left to improve upon that mark.

On the men's side, senior Jesse Bleidt was the runner-up in the hammer throw with a toss of 182-1, just 17 inches shy of his season-best. He also sailed the discus 163-9, his best mark in two years. Both throws were provisional marks. In the hammer, Bleidt remains on the outside of national qualifying looking in, with an earlier throw of 183-7 placing him No. 26 in the nation. His discus mark is 22nd nationally but will most likely require some improvement in order to land him in the NCAA field.

Another highlight saw CSC sophomore Javan Lanier run the 100 meters in a career-best time of 10.74 seconds.  Lanier placed fourth in the race. It was won by in Gil Roberts, who ran unattached and was a member of the United States' gold medal 4x400-meter relay team at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Another career-best for the Eagles saw senior Erin Graham go 18-1 ½ in the long jump.

The Eagles are slated to enter the Bauer Invitational at South Dakota Mines in Rapid City this coming Saturday.


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