ALAMOSA – A majority of Adams State University student-athletes returned to action on Saturday to begin the outdoor season. The Grizzlies were active at the UNM Don Kirby Tailwind Invitational and the San Francisco State University Distance Carnival.
UNM Don Kirby Tailwind Invitational
Adams State braved the elements as cold and rainy conditions greeted the Grizzlies in Albuquerque for their outdoor season opener. Despite the unfavorable weather, the Grizzlies notched four event titles in a meet featuring NCAA Division I and Division II competition.
Malena Grover (4:48.81) ran to a women's 1500m crown as teammates Aden Alemu (4:53.69) and Cari Steen (4:58.62) placed second and third place, respectively.
Austin Anayna (1:53.95) won a title in the men's 800m and was closely followed by teammate Robert Guinn (1:55.10) who took second overall. Brecht Van Waes (15.83m) took home a title in the men's shot put as Sam Reid (15.28m) and Garrett Quintana (13.48m) finished fourth and seventh place, respectively.
The Adams State women's 4x100m relay team also ran to a title with a time of 47.53. Running in the event for ASU were Owekeika Watson, Dianna Johnson, Jessica Scherrer, and Sunayna Wahi. The group of Heather Shoats, Miranda Vigil, Aftynne Lujan, and Serena Canegan took sixth place in the 4x100m relay with a time of 52.73.
Sean Fontana (4:07.44) was the runner-up in the men's 1500m as Noel Prandoni (10:44.66) took third in the women's 3000m. Micah Ballantyne (11.40) clocked a fifth place mark in the men's 100m dash.
Augie Larranaga ran in two races on Saturday and took fourth in the 400m at 49.64 and fifth in the 200m with a time of 22.27. Wyatt Cunningham (23.48) also competed in the 200m and placed ninth overall.
In the women's long jump, Kiana Gomez (5.16m) finished in sixth as teammate Miranda Vigil (4.97m) took ninth.
A pair of Grizzlies represented ASU in the women's javelin led by a 10th place mark from Serena Canegan (27.07m) as Katherine Smith (26.09m) placed 12th. Two ASU women were also active in the shot put with Makenna Plott (9.30m) taking 12th and Breann Hawman (8.80m) taking 14th.
Jackson Roberts (9:25.53) finished 10th in the men's 3000m as Sid Samtaney (55.54) finished 15th in the men's 400m.
San Francisco State University Distance Carnival
Oliver Aitchison competed in the San Francisco State University Distance Carnival, taking first place in the men's 800m. The Adams State senior clocked a time of 1:48.99, setting a new meet record and beating out NCAA DII competitor David Ribich of Western Oregon.
When asked how he felt about his performance, Aitchison said "I did what I set out to do; I got the win and the national qualifier, so it was a good weekend."
The race started conservatively, with Aitchison coming through the first lap in 53 seconds and running patiently before kicking hard with 300m to go.
Aitchison's time is a Division II automatic qualifying mark and currently places him second on the national list for the 800m. The time is just shy of his personal best in the event (1:48.72), set in 2015.
Aitchison is now the third Grizzly to notch an automatic qualifying time during the outdoor season (Sydney Gidabuday & Kyle Masterson).
Sydney Gidabuday was the sole competitor for Adams State University in Friday's portion of the San Francisco State University Distance Carnival.
Gidabuday represented ASU extremely well, taking home the 10,000m title in a time of 29:08.28, an automatic qualifying mark. The time will place him second on the NCAA Division II national list in the event. Besting a field of over 90 athletes in three sections, Gidabuday broke the previous meet record by 33 seconds and finished ahead of competitors representing NCAA Division I and Division II universities, as well as NAIA and junior colleges.
Gidabuday is the second Grizzly to notch an automatic qualifying time in the event joining teammate Kyle Masterson who finished with a time of 29:10.59 at last weekend's Raleigh Relays. Masterson is currently ranked third nationally in the event.
In the race, Gidabuday took the lead after the first mile and was in clear control for the remainder of the event, before closing his last 400 meters in 58 seconds to put 10 seconds between himself and the second place finisher. After the race, he said "I felt great early on. I'm used to running shorter, more aggressive races, so getting out felt very comfortable."
ASU continues success in Pueblo
Adams State University's Track & Field teams continued their success over the weekend on Sunday, competing at the CSU-Pueblo Open. In a meet made up of mostly RMAC member universities, Grizzly athletes won three events and posted nine provisional qualifying marks.
Highlight performances by ASU student-athletes included the women's 5000m race, in which a sweep of 1st, 2nd and 3rd place by Sadie Baker (17:29.70), Kaylee Bogina (17:39.14), and Malena Grover (17:46.20) all garnered provisional national qualifying marks for the trio. In the men's 5000m, Chad Palmer took 2nd place, running 15:18.75.
Another strong run came from Jenna Thurman, who led the field in the women's 3000m steeplechase early to win in 10:36.71 and finish 29 seconds ahead of the second place finisher. Thurman's time is a provisional qualifying mark. Thurman's teammates in the steeplechase included Eilish Flanagan (3rd place, 11:38.58), and Kailie Hartman (11th place, 12:29.68).
In the men's 3000m steeplechase, Jackson Sayler and Kale Adams competed well to claim provisional qualifying times. Sayler had a quick last lap to move from 4th place and finish in 2nd, running 9:12.98. Kale Adams finished in 4th, running 9:18.37, while teammate Joey Tressler rounded out the ASU steeplechase athletes placing 8th in 10:49.07.
A win and a provisional qualifier came from Roisin Flanagan in the women's 800m. Flanagan ran 2:10.18. Teammate Cari Steen placed 5th running 2:15.75, and Leanne Allen placed 16th running 2:30.60.
A large group of ASU men competed in 1500m race, led by Richard Powell in 2nd place (3:52.57), and Chandler Reid in a very close 3rd place (3:52.85); both earned provisional qualifying times. Other competitors were Lucio Ramirez (10th, 4:01.46), Joshua Joseph (12th, 4:04.66), Austin Speer (18th, 4:09.02), Kristoffer Mugrage (19th, 4:09.98), and Dan Goll (22nd, 4:36.08).
On the women's side in the 1500m, Carson Severson took 2nd place in 4:50.33 after leading much of her race.
Adams State was represented in the men's shot put by Garrett Quintana (6th, 13.83m) and Andrew Vigil (14th, 12.24m), and in the women's shot put by Makenna Plott (16th, 9.89m) and Breann Hawman (17th, 9.72m).
Aaron Kinnischitzke ran 24.60 in the men's 200m for 16th place. Sid Samtaney finished 23rd and Austen Velasquez 26th in the men's 400m, running 54.79 and 56.81, respectively.
The women's 4x400m relay rounded out the weekend of competition for the Grizzlies. Leanne Allen, Jenna Thurman, Roisin Flanagan, and Eilish Flanagan made up the ASU relay team, all after competing in other events. The women finished in 3rd place with a time of 3:54.48.
The Grizzlies return to action this weekend at the West Texas A&M Classic (4/7-8) and CU Invitational (4/8).
Top: Sydney Gidabuday races in the 10,000-meter run. Courtesy photo by Pat Melgares.