Adams State crushes RMAC field
Grizzlies dominate behind three individual wins from Spence
KEARNEY, Neb. -- Record-setting wins by KayMarie Jones, Kristen McGlynn, Indira Spence, the 4X400-meter relay team and a NCAA qualifying shot put victory by redshirt freshman Katie Kruger were more than enough for Adams State to win an unprecedented 10th consecutive Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference title by a 62-point margin on Saturday at Nebraska-Kearney's Cushing Fieldhouse.
The Grizzlies, who have now won 19 all-time tiles in the 22-year history of the meet, had seven event wins on the day and nine overall as they tallied 163 points in the two-day competition. Western State, the only other team to have won the title, took second with 102 while first-day leader Chadron State finished third with 96.
Spence was a triple-winner for the second consecutive year as she won the both the 60 and 200-meter dashes and the 60-meter hurdles, breaking her own track records in each. She also broke her own RMAC Championship record in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.28 seconds, 1/100th under last year's mark.
McGlynn broke a Cushing Fieldhouse record for the second consecutive day as she claimed victory in the 3,000 meters while becoming a double-winner. She had also won the 5,000 meters on Friday.
Jones also put her name in the RMAC history book as she broke the RMAC Championship record in the 400 meters before leading off the Grizzlies' RMAC Championship record setting 4X400-meter relay team that also included Chelsea Fenderson, Alyssa Guy and Lindsey Grasmick.
Kruger earned her first conference title with an personal-record shot put mark of 14.72 meters (48 feet, 3 ½ inches) to all but seal up a trip to the NCAA Division II Championships, which the Grizzlies will host in Albuquerque, N.M., on March 11 and 12. Selections for that meet will be announced Tuesday but will be sure to include Spence, who had already automatically qualified in all three of her events, and several other Grizzlies who booked or improved their chances for selection during the weekend.
Spence, who has now won 15 career RMAC titles, started her day with the hurdling victory as she smashed her own Cushing Fieldhouse record of 8.51 seconds, set at the 2008 RMAC Championships. Jones also ran well, taking second in 8.71 seconds, just 1/100th off her converted season best of 8.70 seconds.
Spence then clocked a time of 7.46 seconds to win the 60-meter dash. Her time broke her own track record of 7.52 seconds set in 2008. The Grizzlies also scored six more points in the dash as Zenobia Sims took fifth in 7.77 seconds while Fenderson finished seventh in 7.84.
Spence then capped her perfect day with a clocking of 24.53 seconds, well under her former 2008 Cushing record of 24.79. Senior Jazmine Ralph also scored a point, taking eighth in 25.85 seconds.
Meanwhile, Jones blazed to a time of 56.91 seconds in the 400 meters, breaking the seven-year old RMAC Championships record of 57.25, set by Nebraska-Kearney's Katie Semin. Jones, who won the event by nearly two seconds, also moved on to the bubble for NCAA Championship selection with her time that will convert to 56.31 on a 200-meter banked track, which would rank as high as 11th on the NCAA Division II National Performance list.
The Grizzlies also scored double-figure points in both the 800 meters and the mile as Cassie Mitchell took third in the 800 with a time of 2:19.33, finishing just ahead of Grasmick, who took fourth in 2:19.36. Mitchell also finished third in the mile with a clocking of 4:58.99 while freshman Kelly Lamb finished fifth in 5:11.02.
McGlynn then joined her record-breaking teammates as she won the 3,000 meters in 9:49.42, breaking former Grizzly great Zoila Gomez's Cushing record of 9:50.98, set nine years ago. McGlynn had broken the RMAC Championship and Cushing record in the 5,000 on Friday evening and defeated Western State's Lauren Kleppin by 7.19 seconds on Saturday. Addison LeMaster finished fifth in 10:25.71 while Lamb took sixth in 10:27.86.
The Grizzlies 4X400-meter relay team then capped the day in sterling fashion with a 5.17-second win against New Mexico Highlands. Adams State's time of 3:56.44 broke the 15-year old RMAC meet record of 3:57.22, also set by ASC.
Kruger won the shot put by more than 2 1/2 feet. Senior Tamara Fowler and junior Jenna Bohnen also scored taking fourth and eighth, respectively.
The Grizzlies also received four points in the high jump from freshman Amber Lowther, who took fifth with a clearance of 1.57 meters (5-1 3/4). Fowler tied for ninth after clearing 1.52 meters (4-11 3/4).