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Ledbetter Crowned Shot Put National Champion on Day Two of National Championships

By Dawson Forcella

MARION, Ind. – (Release from Eastern Oregon University Athletics) EOU’s Maggie Ledbetter put an exclamation point on an incredible season and career in the women’s shot put on Thursday afternoon becoming EOU’s first ever national champion in the event while also shattering her own record. Ledbetter and the Lady Mounties currently sit third in the team standings with 20 team points. 
The Mounties had several other outstanding performances on day two of the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana. Along with Ledbetter Eastern had three other All-American performances. Freshman Elizabeth Grandle earned All-American Status in her second event of the championships, the heptathlon. The 4 x 800-meter relay team followed up their record-breaking performance in the prelims with an All-American worthy finish in the finals. Then in the high jump, sophomore, Tyler Jones, cleared 2.00 meters to finish eighth overall earning All-American honors.
Read more below.
Heptathlon: In the final day of competition for the multi-events Elizabeth Grandle capped off an incredible freshman year with her second All-American award of the National Championships. The newcomer claimed the final All-American spot taking eighth overall with a score of 4,477 points. After winning the heptathlon shot put on day one, she doubled down in the javelin on day two dominating the event with a mark of 42.19 meters. Fellow Mountaineer Samantha Conley finished 18th overall with a score of 4,172 points. Conley’s best performance also came in the javelin where she finished fifth with a throw of 36.20 meters.
800 Meters: Michelle Herbes returned to the track on day two for the prelims of the 800-meter run. The senior made it into the finals by a hair beating College of Idaho’s Abbey Shirts by .03 of a second to take the ninth and final spot in the finals with a time of 2:13.24. Herbes will look to clinch another All-American honor tomorrow afternoon at 3:50 p.m. ET.
4 x 800 Meter Relay: Herbes followed up her 800-meter race with the 4 x 800-meter relay finals joining Madelyn NicholsLauryn Mitchell and Katie Jo Gebhardt. While they weren’t able to surpass their record time set the day before, the squad still proved to be one of the best in the country earning All-American honors finishing eighth with a time of 9:18.06.
4 x 400 Meter Relay: EOU’s 4 x 400-meter relay team came up short of the finals in their final race of the year finishing 12th in the prelims. The team consisting of Yahaira Chavarria-MondragonSydney PeckLauryn Mitchell, and Morgan Bayes put together a strong race finishing with a time of 3:56.53. The squad finished seven spots higher than their seed coming in.
Shot Put: Undoubtedly the highlight of the day for the Mountaineers was Maggie Ledbetter’s historic performance in the women’s shot put. The grad student put together the best performance of her career on the biggest stage with two throws over 15 meters. On her final throw, Ledbetter broke her own school record for the second time of the afternoon and claimed EOU’s first-ever national champion title in the women’s shot put with a throw of 15.47 meters. Her mark is the furthest at the NAIA National Championships since 2018. With a national championship and All-American award already in her possession, Ledbetter will look to add more hardware on the final day of the championships competing in the discus starting at 1 p.m. ET tomorrow afternoon.
Decathlon: Israel Miles put up another strong day in the decathlon finishing 10th in the nation in the decathlon with a score of 6,459 points. The Oregon City native notched his highest finish of the meet in the 100-meter hurdles finishing third overall with a time of 14.98 seconds. His final score was a personal record and moves him all the way up to a tie at No. 7 in the EOU record book.
5,000 Meters: Cristian Mendoza was EOU’s lone competitor in the 5,000-meter run where he finished 26th overall with a time of 15:14.20.
High Jump: The Mounties picked up yet another All-American on the afternoon thanks to Tyler Jones who came in a four-way tie for eighth place in the men’s high jump. Jones cleared 2.00 meters on his first try earning Eastern their fourth All-American performance of the day and sixth of the meet.
Discus: Mark Church wrapped up his season with a 18th place finish in the discus. The freshman put together an impressive year finishing with a mark of 46.81 meters in the National Championships.



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