Kearney, Neb. – The Nebraska-Kearney track and field program is hosting the 2018 MIAA Outdoor Championships this weekend, May 4-6, at Kearney High School. This is UNK’s first chance at hosting an outdoor conference championship meet at the NCAA Division II level; the Lopers hosted several RMAC (Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) Indoor Championships in Cushing Coliseum. Cost of admission is $5 each day (10 & under free) with the decathlon (1 p.m.) and heptathlon (1:30 p.m.) starting things off Friday. Those events will finish up Saturday morning (decathlon, 10 a.m.; heptathlon, 10:30 a.m.). On Saturday, field events start at 12:30 p.m. with action on the track going from 4:30-9 p.m. Finally, the meet will go from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday with short awards ceremony afterwards. KRVN’s Jayson Jorgensen talks with head coach Brady Bonsal. Click here to listen.
The men’s meet dates back to 1924 and has been held every spring except 1932 and during World War II (1943-46). Nine different schools have won team titles with Central Missouri and Lincoln tying for first place last spring as each tallied 135.0 points. That marked the Mules 11th first place finish since 2000 and LU’s third-ever outdoor title Just a few months ago, Pittsburg State won the NCAA indoor title (49.0 points) by a single point over the Tiffin (Ohio) Dragons. The Gorillas are currently No. 1 in D2 with UCM (No. 13) and Fort Hays State (No. 16) also ranked.31460 On the women’s side, Pittsburg State (212.0) was the 2017 MIAA champ with rival Missouri Southern State (95.0) a distant second. The Jennies are now three-time defending champions of a meet that started in 1982. Before the Gorillas recent run, Lincoln won four straight crowns. In March, the LU Blue Tigers were third at the NCAA Championships (36.0 points) with Pitt fifth (30.0). Lincoln is sixth in the most recent national rankings with Pitt (No. 10), Hays (No. 16) and Mo Southern (No. 17) also in the top 20. The Lopers lead the MIAA in the men’s steeplechase (Andrew Fields/9:08.56) and women’s discus (Anna Squiers/157-1).
The UNK women also have three of the top six in the shot and two of the top six in both the discus and hammer. Besides Fields, the Loper men have two others in the steeple top eight with senior Bailey Stapleman second in the pole vault and junior Jacob Bartling in the top five in both the shot and discus. UNK and the rest of the MIAA will be busy next week with a series of “Last Chance” meets around the country including the Loper Last Chance on Sunday, May 13. The NCAA Outdoor Championships are set for Memorial Day Weekend in Charlotte, NC.
MIAA Athletes in the NCAA Current Top Four:
Men’s 100 – NaRon Rollins, Pitt State, 10.09 (ranked #1 in D2)
Women’s 400 – Renea Ambersely, Lincoln 53.70 (ranked #1 in D2)
Men’s 800 – Decano Cronin Ft. Hays, 1:47.98 (ranked #2 in D2)
Men’s 1,500 – Brett Meyer, Ft. Hays, 3:43.64 (ranked #3 in D2)
Men’s 10,000 – Karim Achengli, NW Missouri, 29:09.68 (ranked #3 in D2)
Women’s 100 Hurdles – Courtney Nelson, Pitt State, 13.47 (ranked #1 in D2)
Women’s 4×100 Realy – Lincoln 45.70 (ranked #2 in D2)
Men’s 4×400 – Emporia State, 3:08.69 (ranked #3 in D2)
Women’s 4×400 – Lincoln, 3:38.83 (ranked #1 in D2)
Men’s High Jump – Ian Duncan, Pitt State, and Jesse Miller, Central Mo, both 7’0.5″ (tied ranked #2 in D2)
Women’s Pole Vault – Emily Presley, Mo Southern, 13’11.25″ (ranked #1 in D2)
Women’s Long Jump – Armani Battle, SW Baptist, 20’5″ (ranked #4 in D2)
Women’s Triple Jump – Diana Cauldwell, Lincoln, 41’10.5 (ranked #2 in D2)
Men’s Shot Put – Bo Farrow, Pitt State, 61’3″ (ranked #2 in D2)
Women’s Shot Put – Jena Black, Pitt State, 52’2.5 (ranked #2 in D2)
Men’s Discus – Bryan Burns, Mo Southern, 190’4″ (ranked #2 in D2)
Men’s Hammer – Jace Kaleikau, Central Mo., 211’3″ (ranked #2 in D2)
Women’s Javelin – Madison Wolf, Ft. Hays, 167’3 (ranked #1 in D2)
Women’s Heptathlon – Allie Heckemeyer, Mo Southern, 5,021 points (ranked #3 in D2)