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Two Mountaineer Records Fall on Day One of National Championships

EOU Sports Information

MARION, Ind. – Eastern Oregon University’s Track and Field Team posted a strong first day at the National Championships in Marion, Indiana hosted by Indiana Wesleyan University.
When the dust settled, two school records were set. On the track, EOU’s 4 x 800 relay team made history finishing with a time of 9:12.40. Then in the throws it was Kenna Woodward who etched her name at the top of the record book in the hammer throw breaking a 21-year old record and taking fifth with a throw of 54.83 meters.
Eastern also added two All-Americans on day one. Woodward’s throw earned her the elite honor. Joining Woodward was freshman, Elizabeth Grandle, who unleashed a monster throw in the javelin taking fifth overall and garnering All-American honors.
A summary of today’s EOU performances is listed below by event.
Decathlon: EOU’s lone decathlon competitor got off to a strong start on day one of the NAIA National Championships. Israel Miles currently sits just outside the top 10 in 11th with 3,396 points. The two highlights through the first half of decathlon events came in the 100-meter dash and the long jump where he finished fifth in each event (11.18 seconds in the 100, 6.64 meters in the long jump). The redshirt junior will look to make a move into the top 10 tomorrow with the final day of multi-events kicking off at 11:00 a.m. ET.
1,500 Meters: Hunter Nichols ran an excellent race in the 1500 earning a spot in the finals as the 10-seed with a time of 3:54.34. The senior will compete for one of eight All-American spots in the race on Friday at 2:10 p.m. ET.
3000m Steeple: Justin Ash earned his spot in the finals in the steeplechase after a strong performance in the prelims. The sophomore will head into the finals as the eighth seed after finishing with a time of 9:22.05. Ash is within reach of an All-American award and will make the attempt in the finals starting at 1:20 p.m. ET on Friday afternoon
10,000 Meters: Travis Running wrapped up the day on the track for EOU finishing 31st in the 10,000 meters. The senior battled a field with an inconsistent pace and finished with a time of 32:38.90.
Javelin: Moses McAninch was EOU’s lone competitor in the field events today. The senior finished 21st overall with a throw of 54.35 meters, a few meters shy of his seed mark of 58.81 meters coming in.
Heptathlon: The Mounties had two competitors battling it out in a field of 18 in the National Championships of the women’s heptathlon. Elizabeth Grandle and Sammy Conley both set themselves up well for day two. Grandle currently sits in the final All-American place (8th) with a score of 2,759 points after dominant performances in the shot put (1st) and high jump (3rd). Conley put together a good all-around performance on day one with two ninth-place finishes in the 100-meter hurdles and the 200-meter dash helping put her total at 2,596 points, good for 13th overall.
4 x 100m Relay: The squad of Yahaira Chavarria-MondragonSade WilliamsSydney Peck, and Katie Brown put together a solid race in the 4 x 100-meter relay. The group finished higher than their seed jumping up four spots to 20th overall in the prelims with a time of 47.89 second. Unfortunately, it wasn’t fast enough to make the finals on Friday.
400m Hurdles: Morgan Bayes put together a strong race in the 400-meter hurdles but ultimately came up just short of the finals posting a preliminary time of 1:03.42. She narrowly missed making one of the nine finals’ spots on Friday.
200 Meters: After a solid performance in the 4 x 100-meter relay, Chavarria-Mondragon hit the track again in the 200. The senior set a personal record with a time of 25.43 seconds finishing 22nd overall in the prelims.
4 x 800m Relay: EOU’s 4 x 800-meter relay team made history on the biggest stage Wednesday evening. The squad consisting of Madelyn NicholsLauryn MitchellKatie Jo Gebhardt, and Michelle Herbes set a new program record beating their own mark by an entire second. Their time of 9:12.40 secured them a spot in the finals tomorrow and a shot at All-American Status.
Hammer: Two Mounties finished inside the top 10 in the hammer throw. Kenna Woodward and Maggie Ledbetter proved to be the best pair in the nation in the event as no other team had two athletes inside the top 10. Ultimately it was Woodward’s day as the junior broke a 21-year-old program record in the hammer throw (previous set by Leah Merrell in 2002 – 53.78 meters). Woodward’s mark of 54.83 meters earned her fifth place and All-American status. Ledbetter came up just short of an All-American nod finishing ninth with a throw of 52.52 meters.
Javelin: Much like the hammer, EOU made its presence known in the javelin thanks to two standout performances by Elizabeth Grandle and Allie Best. The duo finished inside the top 10 and Grandle shattered her own personal record while moving up to third all-time in the EOU record books. The freshman unleashed a throw of 44.10 meters which was good for fifth overall earning her All-American honors in the event. Her teammate, Allie Best, was .47 of a meter away from also being an All-American finishing ninth overall with a throw of 42.11 meters.  



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