Pringle, 4x4 Win Gold As Eagle Men Finish Second in Nation

Pringle, 4x4 Win Gold As Eagle Men Finish Second

5/28/18 ASHLAND, Ohio - Eight men represented Ashland University's track and field program at the 2018 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Charlotte, N.C.

That great eight lifted the Eagles to a second-place team finish following Saturday's (May 26) third and final day of nationals – tied for the program's highest finish at the Division II level. Ashland's men ended the weekend with 51 team points, behind only Texas A&M-Kingsville's 65.

Ashland head coach Jud Logan called this group of Eagle men the most overachieving squad he's had in 24 years of coaching.

"We came here with eight guys, and we were, two weeks ago, ranked 14th in the country," Logan said. "Then, to be ranked 10th in the country coming in here, no one on this team thought there was a chance of a podium finish. They were outperforming their rank like I've never seen before. It was contagious. It was the theme of the weekend."

The team finish continues a stretch of consistency for the Eagle men at outdoor nationals – in the last six years, they have been either second or third five times.

Ashland's leader, as has been the case for the last two years, was junior Myles Pringle.

Pringle, who already finished second in the men's high jump on Friday (May 25), won his fourth consecutive (indoors and outdoors) D-II men's 400-meter dash national title in 45.35 seconds. Not only was that time .15 seconds faster than Pringle's previous collegiate outdoor best, and not only was it .35 seconds faster than second-place Rashard Clark of Texas A&M-Commerce, but it also makes Pringle the eighth-fastest men's D-II 400 runner all-time.

In the final event of the meet, the men's 4x400 relay, Pringle was the anchor leg for another national title. The quartet of freshmen Channing PhillipsTrevor Bassittand T.J. Elliott combined with Pringle to cross the finish line first in 3:07.66. That is Ashland's first outdoor men's 4x4 national championship since 1976.

In the men's 200 dash, Pringle took eighth in 21.28 seconds. It was his first outdoor 200 All-American earned. At the end of the 200, Pringle suffered a slight injury - which made his 44.79 split in the 4x4, a career best, even more impressive.

"I honestly didn't know how I was going to feel going into it," Pringle said of the relay. "Doing fast, quick things like coming out of the blocks…I just put that off to the side. I just had to push through it.

"It (the start from the three freshmen) gave me a lot of motivation. When they handed the baton to Trevor, I didn't know how everything was going to go. You see him taking everybody, one by one…and that's when I knew we seriously have a huge shot at winning this. This whole weekend…this honestly is an amazing moment. Especially for the freshmen. Trevor's hurt, Channing was hurt, I was hurt. I'm sure they all are ecstatic for being freshmen and national champs."

"We put the pressure on the three freshmen, and the three freshmen ran incredible legs," Logan said. "He ran 44.79. He ran the fastest split of his life, and had to hold off quite a few people. Once he saw the job the three freshmen had done, he knew there was no way he could let them down."

Said Ashland assistant coach Ernie Clark, "They all accepted their roles in the prelims, then changing it up after seeing some of the other teams. Channing is an incredible open 400 runner out of high school. I knew Trevor was ready to pop at least a 47 flat. Then T.J., to run as strong as he did…he does that, and the rest makes history.

"We've been conservative and safe and going through rehab (with Myles' injury). We all knew it was a thing. It's not something you dwell on. He really felt it in the 200, then backed off."

Through his junior season, Pringle has won five national titles (four in the 400, one in the 4x4), and has earned 14 All-American awards, including eight in 2018 alone.

For Phillips and Bassitt, this is their second All-American 4x4 effort, following one indoors in March. For Elliott, it is his first All-American citation.

Senior Elijah Talk concluded his impressive collegiate shot put career by making a big move up the Division II ladder. Entering nationals ranked 14th in the nation in the men's shot, Talk earned his seventh combined indoor/outdoor shot put All-American honor by placing third with a top heave of 18.31 meters/60-feet-1. That season-best mark gave Talk his fourth nationals shot put finish, both indoors and outdoors, of either second or third place.

"He's one of the best competitors in the history of the program in terms of getting it done at the NCAA meet," said Logan. "He tightened up the second flight by himself. Everyone in the second flight started pressing because of him. I couldn't be prouder of another fifth-year senior going out on a high note."

In keeping with the meet-long theme of improvement from previous national rankings, senior Megan Tomei, in her final event as an Eagle, finished fourth in the women's shot put with a top mark of 15.54 meters/51-feet-0. Tomei earned her first outdoor All-American citation and second overall as a collegian, and did so by moving up from being ranked No. 7 in the nation coming into nationals.

"Outdoors has always been where the injuries have bitten her," said Logan. "To come in here healthy and out-perform her rank…for everything she's been through, it's a fitting way to end her career."

Ashland's women ended nationals in a tie for 24th place with 12 team points.

 

HOW THEY GOT THERE – ASHLAND UNIVERSITY MEN TAKE SECOND PLACE

NAME, EVENT

PRE-NATIONALS RANK

PLACE

TEAM PTS.

Myles Pringle, 400 dash

First

First

10

4x400 relay (Channing PhillipsTrevor BassittT.J. ElliottMyles Pringle)

Sixth

First

10

Myles Pringle, high jump

T-Sixth

Second

8

Alex Hill, hammer throw

Third

Third

6

Elijah Talk, shot put

14th

Third

6

Alex Hill, men's discus

Seventh

Fourth

5

Nick Zak, hammer throw

13th

Fourth

5

Myles Pringle, 200 dash

T-10th

Eighth

1

 

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