Special to the Herald
The Clinton Herald
---- — GALESBURG, Ill. – Ashford University track and field athletes grabbed six titles Saturday at the Fire Starter Invitational hosted by Knox College.
The men’s and women’s teams brought home three event championships each, as one Saint surpassed an NAIA ‘A’ qualifying mark and one program record fell.
One week after punching his ticket to nationals, junior Mike Malone reached NAIA ‘A’ Level qualifying status in the pole vault by clearing the 4.76-meter mark, matching his program record in the process. It was the first of two event titles for Malone, as he took the top spot in the 60-meter dash in 7.09 seconds.
Junior Nichole Johnson broke her Ashford record in the 60-meter hurdles (9.23), besting her previous record by one one-hundredth of a second.
The other Ashford victory on the track came in the men’s four-by-200 relay. The quartet of DeMykhal Teague, Dion Williams, Raymond Anderson and Riley Smith clocked in at a time of 1:33:24.
AU also saw success in the field, brining home wins in both women’s long jump and women’s pole vault. Freshman Cassidy Chambers cleared the 1.60-meter mark in the high jump for her first event title as a Saint, while senior Haley Fischer cleared the 2.86-meter mark in the pole vault to take the top spot.
The Saints also got runner-up performances from Sam Gatewood (11.83 meters in the shot put), Malone (22.89 in the 200 and 6.47 meters in the long jump), Tim Brown (10:03.14 in the 3,000) and the women’s four-by-400 relay unit of Syndia Delgado, Clinton’s Shelby Weets, Brenda Baughman and Jamie Towle in 4:38.34.
Adding third-place finishes were Ariel Hudson (11.18 meters in the shot put, Gatewood (14.32 meters in the weight throw), Teague (7.10 in the 60), Kendall Deer (8.73 in the 60 hurdles) and Branden Lambaise (3.20 meters in the pole vault).