(Neb)-Grimes Win LJ National Title, Hallsted 5th In Weight Throw
By Con Marshall CSC Sports Information
PITTSBURG, Kan. -- The first day of the NCAA Division II National Indoor Track and Field Meet at Pittsburg, Kansas, was an excellent one for Chadron State College as Isaac Grimes won the title in the long jump and
Ashton Hallsted finished 5th in the women's 20-pound weight throw.
"They had a great day," said CSC Coach Riley Northrup. "Everything clicked for both of them. All of us are really happy."
Grimes won by going 25 feet, 8 ¾ inches (7.84 meters) on his last jump while Hallsted threw a career-best of 66 feet, 5 inches (20.24 meters).
Both Eagles would have placed among the top eight on any of their six performances.
Grimes was at the top of the long jump list entering the meet and led off with a jump of 24-10, but the sophomore from Merino Valley, Calif.,explained he launched the attempt from well behind the board to ensure an early counting jump.
It was an unnecessary precaution because each of his 5 remaining jumps were at least 25 feet - good enough to have earned at least fifth place.
Grimes hit 25-5 ½ on his third jump to move into third place behind Ryan Brown and Kizan David, both of Lincoln University in Missouri, two of the 3 other DII jumpers to have topped 25-feet this year.
Brown and David were 25-6 ¾ and 25-6 ¼, respectively, going into the 3 jump final round and after jumps of 25-2 ½ and 25-4. Grimes uncorked his winning jump of 25-8 ¾ on his last try.
"I told him he was doing great," Northrup said. "He was running fast and jumping well. I kept encouraging him and his last jump was the one he needed."
Grimes said "everything came together" on his final attempt.
"I kind of surprised myself," he noted. "But I started getting the jumps that I wanted and became more confident."
David also had his best jump of 25-6 ¾ on his final attempt to finish second. Brown was third with that same mark from the preliminaries. Lawrence Russell Jr. of Barton College in North Carolina was fourth at 25-2 ¾. No one else reached 25 feet.
Grimes, who jumped just twice at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championship because of hamstring problem but still won the event at 25 feet even, said his leg felt fine Friday and he will also compete in the triple jump Saturday.
He finished fifth in the long jump at last year's Nationals by going 24-6 ½.
Hallsted said she was "really happy" with her throws. Her top mark of 66-5 came on her first attempt in the finals and was 20- ½ inches farther than her previous career best. She also topped her old PR on her final throw with 65-8 ¼.
"This was my best series of the season," Hallsted noted. "It was very competitive. A lot of us threw our best today."
Northrup said he was elated by how well Hallsted threw.
"It's terrific anytime an athlete has her top three marks of the season at the national meet," the coach said. "That's what Ashton did today."
The weight throw winner was Bobby Goodwin, a junior from Grand Valley State in Michigan at 68-1 whose previous best was 64- 1¼.
Two seniors from the University of Indianapolis who were the event leaders coming into the meet placed second and third. Hilary Paxson hit 67-4 ¼ and Katie Monk missed her season best by 2-1/4 inches at 67-3 ¼.
Fourth place Friday went to Natalie Helenthal of Ashland University of Ohio at 66-10 ½, a foot and a half farther than her previous best. Helenthal was third last year at 63-11 ¾.
Rachel Somoye of Texas A&M-Kingsville was sixth this year with a mark of 65-9 ½ after placing fifth last year at 63-1 ½.
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