CLINTON, Iowa - The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced the qualifiers for the 47th Annual NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championships late Friday afternoon. Seventeen Ashford University student-athletes will travel to the event including a representation of nine women and eight men.
Action at the event opens on Thursday, Mar. 1 at the Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio and continues through Saturday, Mar. 3.
Roland, Ill. senior Justin Ludwikowski will open competition for Ashford at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday when the first events of the heptathlon are held. Ludwikowski just qualified for the event as the sixteenth and final seed after posting his qualifying score of 4498 in AU's second outing of the season on Jan. 13-14 at the Private School Invite hosted by Carthage College.
The AU women's 4x400-meter relay team takes the track at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday for their preliminary race in the event. The Saints are seeded 15th of the 18 teams which qualified for the meet.
Ludwikowski continues the heptathlon on Friday at 9 a.m. which leads off a very busy day on the track for the Saints.
Ellerie Lagerhausen competes for the women's 3,000-meter race walk title at 11 a.m. before Aleksander Jakobsen takes to track to compete in the men's version of the race at 11:25 a.m.
Junior sprinter Christian Awah joins Ludwikowski and sophomore Demetryione Singleton contend in the trials of the 60-meter hurdles at 12:20 p.m. just before freshman teammate Justin Kilpatrick tests his skills against the nation's best sprinters in the 60-meter trials at 12:50 p.m.
Depending on the results, the runners will return to the track later in the afternoon. The 60-meter hurdle semi-finals are scheduled for 1:40 p.m. while the 60-meter dash semi-finals are set for 3:05 p.m.
Awah enters the 60-meter hurdles event as the eighth-seeded racer of the 27 competing.
AU's lone field event on Friday takes place at 2 p.m. when the men's high jump competition gets underway. Junior Austin Smith and sophomore Emmanuel Panchol both qualified after clearing the same height during the regular season, 2.04 meters, to enter the championships tied for the tenth seed of the 26 qualifiers.
Chicago, Ill. sophomore Myelle Vann closes out action on Friday for Ashford with her semi-final race in the 200-meter dash at 5:05 p.m.
The Ashford field events take center stage on Saturday as Clinton, Iowa-native Sarah Wenzel opens the final day of competition with her appearance in the triple jump at 9 a.m. The junior jumper surpassed the event's qualifying standard during the final meet of the regular season on Feb. 18 at the A.Y. McDonald Invitational held in Dubuque, Iowa.
Freshman Mike Malone competes as the nine-seed in the pole vault competition at 12:15 p.m. and will battle 13 others from around the nation for the individual championship. The men's triple jump commences just fifteen minutes later when Panchol attempts his second field event of the championships.
Also at 12:30 p.m., junior Heather Ketcham competes in the women's high jump. The Byron, Ill.-native enters the finals with the 13th best jump of the year among the other 24 competitors.
Finals for the men's 60-meter hurdles and 60-meter dash, along with the women's 200-meter dash and 4x400-meter relay are also set for Saturday afternoon.
You can follow all of the action using the links below, or by following Ashford Athletics on Twitter (@AUSaints).