ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – One Ashford athlete punched a ticket to the 2014 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Championships while another hit the minimum qualifying score in the decathlon as the Saints competed Friday and Saturday at the Viking Olympics at Augustana College.
One school record fell Saturday as the men finished fifth with 51 points and the women took sixth with 58 points.
Junior Mike Malone will represent AU at nationals after meeting NAIA “A” level qualifying standards in the pole vault. The Country Club Hills, Ill., native cleared the 4.80-meter height to become a three-time qualifier in the event.
Senior Branden Lambaise earned the top spot in the decathlon with a score of 5,457 to meet the minimum score needed to qualify for nationals in the event. The top 16 scores will punch their ticket to the event in Alabama.
On the women’s side, junior Nichole Johnson continued her assault on the Ashford record book. The Center Point, native took the top spot and broke her own school record in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.16 seconds, besting her previous record of 15.34 seconds from one year ago.
One other Saint earned a victory at the event, as junior Ellerie Lagerhausen claimed the top spot in the 3,000 race walk event, in 18:47.97.
Other Notable Finishes
Cassidy Chambers took second place in the high jump (1.55 meters); Micah Wedemeier (1.5 meters in the high jump) and Johnson (1:07.78 in the 400 hurdles) each placed third; Kendall Deer (15.92 in the 110 hurdles) and Dion Williams (22.73) each took fourth; Williams was fifth in the 100 at 11.45; and Samantha Gatewood claimed sixth place in the shot put (11.61 meters).
The Saints will host their only home meet of the spring this Saturday, when they take part in the third annual Ashford University Spring Classic.