PITTSBURG –– Pittsburg State built a lead and then held on in dramatic fashion to claim the 2018 NCAA Division II Men's Indoor Track & Field National Championship Saturday, March 10 at the Robert W. Plaster Center, while West Texas A&M captured the 2018 NCAA Division II Women's Indoor Track & Field National Championship.
Pitt State men claimed the program's first-ever national championship by edging two-time defending national champion Tiffin by one point, 49 to 48, when the Dragons finished ninth in the night's final event, the 4x400m relay.
Adams State finished third with 44 points while Ashland (40.5) and Texas A&M-Commerce (29) rounded out the top five team positions.
The WTAMU women compiled 53 points to secure the national title. The Lady Buffs also won the 2017 NCAA Division II Outdoor National Championship last May.
Western State finished second with 40 points, while Lincoln University placed third with 36 points. The University of Mary was fourth with 31 points, while Adams State and Pittsburg State tied for fifth place with 30 points.
In men's action, Pitt State's Bo Farrow sparked the Gorillas with a national championship in the shot put. He won the discipline with a best throw of 62 feet, 2.5 inches. Pitt State also got a trio of national runner-up finishes from Tanner McNutt (5536 pts) in the heptathlon, Ian Duncan in the high jump (7-0.25) and Justice Burks (7.85) in the 60-meter hurdles.
The Gorillas added a pair of All-America finishes from NaRon Rollins in the sprints. He finished third in the 200 meters in 21.17 and he placed fifth overall in the 60 meters (6.73). Kai Miller added a fifth-place finish in the pole vault (16-10.75) and Jared Page secured All-America honors in the heptathlon by finishing eighth overall (5329 points).
Want to know what it feels like to win a NATIONAL TITLE?— PlasterCenterPSU (@Plaster_Center) March 11, 2018
Here you go!
The Gorilla Men are the 2018 NCAA Div 2 Indoor Track & Field Champs.@NCAADII @PittStGorillas @PittStateTrack pic.twitter.com/fjF0Z8xzyt
The Pitt State men's previous best indoor national finish came in 1995 when the Gorillas placed third overall.
WTAMU captured the women's national championship on the strength of 31 points in the horizontal jumps. The Lady Buffs tallied 15 points in the long jump Friday and added 16 more in the triple jump Saturday.
The Pitt State women got a pair of national runner-up finishes by Emilee Iverson in the high jump (5-9.75) and Courtney Nelson in the 60-meter hurdles (8.33). Haven Lander added a third-place finish in the pole vault while Jasmine Smith (51-1) and Jena Black (49-5.5) finished fourth and eighth, respectively, in the shot put.
Kelsey Lewis earned All-America honors with an eighth-place finish in the 200 meters (24.65) and the 4x400m relay team of Rhema Taylor, Lewis, Emerson Tice and Nelson placed seventh overall (3:47.14).
The Pitt State women posted their third straight top five national indoor finish after placing fourth each of the past two years (2016-17).