Ashland leads Day 1 of NCAAs with individual titles from Grey, Nageotte
PUEBLO, Colo. -- With strong performances on Thursday, Ashland's Garrett Grey and Katie Nageotte made their climb to the top of the respective award podiums at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Grey won the first national title of his career with a decisive victory in the hammer throw and Nageotte won her second national crown in pole vault. Both athletes came to Colorado seeded first in their respective events.
Grey led the field with a throw of 231-3. In second place was Abilene Christian's Baptiste Kerjean with a throw of 218-0.
Nageotte won a national championship in indoors earlier this year. Her winning leap on Thursday was 14-5.25, good enough for a championship and facility record. It breaks the mark of 13-7.25, established last season by Kristen Hixson of Grand Valley State. Hixson was third on Thursday (13-9.25). Second place went to Hillsdale's Kayla Caldwell at 14-5.25.
At the conclusion of the day's action, the AU men were sitting in first place with 15 points, followed by Stillman (10).
The Ashland women were tied for first place. The Eagles and Grand Valley State ended the day with 15 points each. Wayne State (Neb.) was third with 12 points.
Sophomore Zac Ball continued his strong, end-of-the-year push by finishing fourth in hammer. He picked up the first All-America honor of his career with a throw of 202-0.
In the women's hammer throw, freshman Cynthia Watt was fourth at 189-8. Sophomore Jessica Bridenthal was 10th (177-0) and sophomore Kim Habegger was 12th (172-10).
The rest of AU's championship contingent was competing in preliminaries.
In the men's 1,500, sophomore Brian Baum earned a berth in the finals with a fourth-place time of 3:57.85. Senior Joe Horn secured a spot in the final of the 100 by placing ninth in 10.31. Horn was part of the 4X400 relay that finished fourth. The quartet's time was 40.19 behind St. Augustine's first-place 39:01. Horn was joined in the 4X400 by freshman Eric Thompkins and juniors DeAndre Davis and Jordan Hoppel.
Sophomore Waquiem Comar made the cut in the 400 hurdles, placing eighth (52.16). His teammate, sophomore Elijha Owens finished 11th (52.72) and failed to reach the final.
Ashland had three runners competing in the 400, but no one advanced to the final. Junior Keith Cleveland was 12th (47.12), senior Cory Lamar was 17th (47.62) and junior Jacob Cook was 19th (47.75).