(BRADENTON, Fla.) – All three Walsh track & field athletes were in action at the Division II National Championships' opening day with Kaitlyn Barber and Marcus Myers participating in finals while Sarah Berger raced in her 1,500 meter preliminary race.
Indoor All-American Barber was competing in the pole vault and Myers was participating in the hammer throw. Both just missed out on reaching All-American status with 14th place finishes.
Myers started the day for the Maroon and Gold in the first field event of the competition. His first attempt traveled 55.23 meters before he reached his peak with a throw of 57.47 meters. His final throw was just under that mark at 57.44 meters.
"Myers was seeded 18th and placed 14th as a true sophomore," said throws coach Jeff Jakmides. "He competed well at the biggest stage. We're proud of the progress and excited about the future."
The national champion in the event remained in the GLIAC as Grand Valley State's Darien Thornton set a new championship record with a throw of 71.21 meters.
Right after the hammer was completed, the women's pole vault took place. Barber cleared 3.75 meters before she and three others were stumped at 3.85 meters. Barber cleared 3.75 meters on her second attempt to finish just ahead of Grand Valley's Skylar Schoen who did so on the third.
Missouri Southern's Emily Presley won the championship with a vault of 4.05 meters cleared on her first attempt.
Berger ended the day with her preliminary race in the 1,500 meter run. With the top four in each both heats and the next four best overall times advancing to Saturday's final, she left no doubt as she finished second with a time of 4.27.65 meters.
She was edged out by Seattle Pacific's Lynelle Decker with a time of 4:27.34 for the top overall seed in the final scheduled for 5:45 p.m. Saturday.