All three of the Chadron State College track and field athletes who competed Friday at the NCAA Division II National Indoor Championships in Pittsburg, Kan., gained experience that should pay off in the future, Coach Riley Northrup said, but none of them was able to make the finals.
“It was good experience for them, but we didn’t have marks that moved us up the leader board so we were closer to the top,” Northrup noted. “It’s the first time any of the three has been to nationals. I’m sure they’ll be back in the future and do better.”
All three Eagles who competed Friday are redshirt freshman with three years of eligibility remaining.
The first to compete was Dan Reynolds of Granby, Colo., in the 35-pound weight throw. Each of his three throws was longer than the previous one. His third throw measured 18.81 meters, or 61 feet, 8 ½ inches, putting him 12th among the 17 contestants, earning him Second Team All-America honors. He hit 64-11 ½ to set the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference record two weeks ago.
The nationals weight throw winner was senior Brent Fairbanks of Ashland University in Ohio at 22.73 meters, or 74-7, on his last throw. He entered the competition in second place with a season-best of 72-1. The leader prior to the meet, Tanner Berg of Northern State at Aberdeen, S.D., was second Friday at 73-6.
CSC’s Morgan Fawver of McCook also did his best on his third long jump. It was 7.16 meters, or 23-6 in English measurement. The mark was 14th among the 16 entries. Best of all, Fawver, who had not jumped since early February because of a hamstring issue, was able to compete pain-free.
He qualified for Nationals with a leap of 24-4 ½.
Northrup said one of Fawver’s jumps probably would have put him in the finals, but he took off perhaps a foot behind the board.
The long jump winner was Jamel Jones II, a junior from Azusa Pacific. He went 25-6 ¾ on his sixth and final attempt to edge Conner Last of Washburn University by 1.25 inches.
Chadron State’s third contestant was high jumper Jourdaine Cerenil of Pine Bluffs, Wyo. She went 5-3 ¾ to place 14th. Northrup said she cleared both that height and 5-5 during warmups, but didn’t quite make the latter height while the competition was taking place.
“It’s a little different once they announce your name and you know everybody’s watching,” said Northrup, who also was a high jumper for the Eagles. Cerenil’s best entering nationals was 5-7 ¾.
The women’s high jump was won by Akira Robinson of Concordia-St. Paul at 5-11 ½, an inch higher than Chinenye Aguina of Azusa Pacific went to win the silver medal.
Chadron State’s fourth national qualifier, sophomore Derrick Nwagwu of Aurora, Colo., will triple jump late Saturday afternoon. It’s also his first trip to nationals.