ASC's Spence takes over DII lead
The RMAC preseason player of the year shines in season debut
Adams State Athletics
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Preseason Athlete of the Year Indira Spence made a statement in her 2011 indoor season debut as she clocked a 200-meter time of 24.17 seconds to automatically qualify for the NCAA Division II National Championships in that event. Spence's effort was the highlight for a small group of Adams State College women during the first evening of competition, Friday the University of New Mexico Invitational.
Spence, who finished second in that event at last year's meet, also held here in the Albuquerque Convention Center, now holds the NCAA Division II performance list lead as she went under the automatic qualifying standard of 24.22 seconds.
Spence, a 9-time All-American, who set a championship and school record time of 8.05 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles at last year's national meet, took fourth in a field of 59 runners in the 200 on Friday.
Meanwhile, senior teammate Jazmine Ralph turned in a season-best time of 26.22 seconds while freshman Chelsea Fenderson was clocked in 26.46. They finished 37th and 38th, respectively.
The Grizzlies also had some solid marks in field events as junior Annelise Pradal cleared 3.45 meters (11 feet, 3 ¾ inches) in the pole vault, just short of the provisional qualifying standard, good for a tie for sixth place. Pradal, the Grizzly record holder at 3.67 meters (12'0 ½"), has cleared 3.65 meters (11' 11 ¾") earlier this season and is part of a tie for seventh place on the national performance list.
Meanwhile, junior Jenna Bohnen matched her NCAA provisional qualifying and career-best mark of 16.29 meters (53'5 ½") to take seventh place in the weight throw.
Redshirt freshman teammate Katie Kruger also had a strong effort in the event finishing 11th with a heave of 14.43 meters (47'4 ¼"), a big personal record. The Grizzlies also had four other competitors in the event, including three freshmen, who competed unattached.
The Grizzlies also had a contestant in the high jump as freshman Amber Lowther matched her season-best by clearing 1.53 meters (5'0 ¼") to finish 16th.
The Grizzlies, who have been picked to win a 10th straight RMAC title, are ranked fifth in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's NCAA Division II rankings and will continue their participation at the 2-day meet, which includes a multitude of NCAA Division I powers, Saturday starting at 10 a.m.