Skipper, Ewalt off to strong startMulti-event standouts Sarah Skipper and Josh Ewalt are in contention for All-American honors, and Katie Conlon also is right where she needs to be. Skipper is seventh with 2,794 points after the 100 hurdles, high jump, shot put and 200 meters in the heptathlon at the NAIA National Meet in Marion, Ind. She is well within striking distance of a top 6 finish, and All-American honors.
Multi-event standouts Sarah Skipper and Josh Ewalt are in contention for All-American honors, and Katie Conlon also is right where she needs to be.
Skipper is seventh with 2,794 points after the 100 hurdles, high jump, shot put and 200 meters in the heptathlon at the NAIA National Meet in Marion, Ind.
She is well within striking distance of a top 6 finish, and All-American honors.
“She’s right in the hunt,” JC coach Jim Clark said. “She had a good, solid day.”
The senior from Lewistown, Mont, was third in the high jump, and sixth in both the 200 and 100 hurdles. She was down a ways in the shot, but, “held her own.”
She trails the fourth-place score by just 73 points and fifth by 62 with the long jump, javelin and 800 today.
“She’ll give it all she has. That’s one thing you never have to worry about with Sarah,” Clark said.
Athletes dealt with generally wet and miserable weather conditions. The meet was delayed a handful of times due to down pours.
Josh Ewalt powered through the poor conditions and piled up 3,373 points, good for sixth.
He crossed second in the 400 and was no lower than 10th in any of the five events. He was fifth in the 100, sixth in the long jump, and eighth in the shot put.
“It was amazing how he competed. Really, all of those guys were just really impressive because of how miserable the weather was,” JC men’s coach Ed Crawford said. “But that’s why it’s nationals. Only the best guys are here.”
Ewalt has typically been strong on the second day of the decathlon, with only the pole vault a shaky event. He’s strong in the other four — 110 hurdles, discus, javelin and 1500.
“He’s in good position, but those spots 4-5-6-7-8-9 are all packed in tight and only the top 6 get All-American,” Crawford said. “He’s going to compete and get after it. We like his chances.”
Conlon sailed into Saturday’s final in the 3000 steeplechase by finishing second in her heat. She came in with the best time in the NAIA (10:34.88).
“She really ran a good, smart race,” Clark said.
Conlon also ran the anchor leg in the Jimmies’ 3200 relay that missed the final in the event by just once place.
Madey Hornung, Aleona Reyes, Mallory Souder and Conlon blitzed their previous best mark by posting a 9:19.67, which cut 10 seconds off their seed time.
Hornung’s career-best 2:17 split led the way.
“Our women ran an exceptional race,” Clark said.
Trent Roemmich (400 hurdles), Marissa Curry (400 hurdles) and Beth Segerholm (javelin) also competed, but did not advance.
Roemmich, a freshman from Linton, led his heat through eight hurdles, but hit the ninth and ran out of steam, but still finished faster than six entrants after entering with the slowest qualifying time.
Today, Ewalt and Skipper finish up the multi-events, Rob Nelson spins the discus and the 4x400 relay team of Skipper, Curry, Ariel Edwards and AnnaLiesa Fauth compete in prelims.
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org