ASU women claim RMAC championship


GUNNISON – On the final day of the RMAC Championships, the Adams State University women scored 109 points to surge ahead of rival Western State Colorado University and claim the 2017 team title. Winning five events and setting three RMAC Championship records for the day, the Grizzlies competed fiercely for the win.

The Adams State women had a final score of 147 points, ahead of second place Western State’s 133 points.

“At our team meeting before the start of the meet Coach Damon Martin said the most important thing to have this weekend is to have the heart that it takes to be a champion,” said Head Coach Rock Light after the meet. “Our women were RMAC Champions and our men finished second. We honored our seniors at our team meeting. It was very emotional. We set stadium records. It was a great RMAC Championship for our team.”

ASU Senior Sunayna Wahi won individual titles in the 100m and 200m dash, and was a member of the record setting 4x100m relay. Wahi ran a time of 11.42 in the 100m, an RMAC Championship record, before returning to win the 200m event in 24.23. Wahi’s 100m mark is also the national leading mark in the event, and an automatic national qualifier.

Teammate Dianna Johnson was close behind in both events, running 11.49 for second place in the 100m as well as fifth in the nation, and 24.58 for second in the 200m. Johnson was also a member of the champion relay team.

The women’s 4x100m relay team was made up of Wahi, Johnson, Oweneika Watson, and Jessica Scherrer. Their time of 44.84 is the new RMAC Championship record, as well as the national leading mark in the event.

After competing on the blazing fast relay, Scherrer proceeded to set a championship record of her own, winning the 400m hurdles in a time of 58.52, a personal best. Scherrer’s time moves her up the national rankings to fourth amongst NCAA Division II student-athletes.

Watson competed in the 100m hurdles final, placing third in 14.17 and scoring six points for Adams State.

Another win for the Grizzlies came from Serena Canegan in the high jump. Returning from solid long jump and heptathlon finishes earlier in the meet, Canegan jumped 1.66m to secure the win and earn ten team points

The ASU women scored big points with a team effort in the middle distance races. In the 800m run, Jenna Thurman took second place in 2:11.33, Cari Steen took fifth in 2:15.33, and Leanne Allen took eighth in 2:23.21 for a combined score of 13 points in the event. In the 1500m run, the trio of Roisin Flanagan, Eilish Flanagan, and Carson Severson scored a combined 11 points. Roisin Flanagan was third in the event with a time of 4:39.67, Eilish Flanagan was fifth at 4:50.53, and Severson was eighth at 4:54.40.

On top of her 800m performance, Allen took eighth place in the javelin, with a mark of 33.81m.

In the 5000m run, Kaylee Bogina placed fifth, running 18:38.26. Malena Grover placed seventh in 18:52.03, and Aden Alemu placed eighth in 18:59.58.

The Grizzlies put forth a 4x400m relay squad of Steen, Flanagan, Allen, and Scherrer who ran 3:49.85 to place fourth in the event.

At the end of the meet, Canegan ranked third overall amongst female competitors by contributing 23 points. Wahi was responsible for 20 points, to tie for fifth in individual female scorers. Thurman tied for eighth with 18 points as Johnson tied for 11th with 16 points. 

The ASU men scored 102 points on the final day of competition, enough to move from sixth place into second overall. In total, the Grizzlies notched a team score of 129.

The Grizzlies’ improvement was highlighted by the efforts of junior Micah Ballantyne in the sprint events. Ballantyne won the 100m dash in 10.59, as well as the 200m dash in 21.41, and also competed on two relay teams. Teammate Ian Kerr was close behind in the 100m dash, running 10.61, and placed third in the 200m event, running 21.45.

The 4x100m relay team was comprised of Ballantyne, Kerr, Augie Larranaga, and Elijah Brown. The men ran a time of 40.74 to win the event.

Another win for the Adams State men came from Sydney Gidabuday in the 5000m run. Gidabuday ran 15:42.99. Chandler Reid was close behind in second, with a time of 15:43.41, and Lucio Ramirez was seventh with a time of 15:59.11.

Wyatt Cunningham secured an individual title in the high jump by clearing 2.05m.

Gidabuday and Chandler Reid also competed in the 1500m race, where they placed fourth and fifth place, respectively. Gidabuday ran 4:07.86, Reid ran 4:07.92, and teammate Richard Powell ran 4:09.10 for seventh place.

Austin Anaya and Tom Gifford competed in the 800m final, where Anaya ran 1:50.76 for second place, and Gifford ran 1:56.91 for eighth. Anaya’s time ranks him fourth nationally, while Gifford’s preliminary time from Sunday ranks 14th.

In the shot put, Sam Reid placed second with a throw of 17.08m, and Brecht Van Waes placed fifth with a 15.11m throw.

The Adams State men finished the championship with a third place finish in the 4x400m relay. The team of Larranaga, Gifford, Ballantyne, and Jake Littlehales ran 3:16.31.

By scoring 20 individual points in the meet, Ballantyne ranked third overall amongst male competitors as Sam Reid tied for seventh with 16 points. Gidabuday tied for 10th with 15 points as Kerr tied for 13th with 14 points.

Remaining on the 2017 outdoor schedule is the West Texas A&M Last Chance Meet in Canyon, Texas, on May 14th. That will be followed by the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships on May 25-27 in Bradenton, Florida.

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Caption: Adams State University women celebrate the 2017 team title at the RMAC Championships. Photo courtesy of ASU