ROME, Ga. — Day one of the 2014 NCCAA Track & Field Championship is complete and the Lady Flames stand in eighth place with the Flames tied for ninth. Each squad had just two athletes participate on the opening day at Barron Stadium.
Kayla Gash started the day for the Lady Flames in the discus throw. Her 11th-placed throw of 37.11 meters was nearly 2 meters farther than her longest of the season (35.44 meters). Janell Alyea of Trinity Lutheran College won the event with a throw of 46.70 meters.
Ashley Matthews posted all eight of the Lady Flames’ team points and earned NCCAA All-American status with a second-place finish in the 10,000-meter run. Matthews crossed the finish line at 38:37.12, while Glynnis Meade of Dallas Baptist University claimed the title with a mark of 38:29.84.
“The race was fairly tactical with a slow early pace,” said Lee head coach Caleb Morgan. “Ashley did a great job covering moves. When Glynnis Meade made a move with a mile to go, Ashley responded and put herself in contention to win. I was glad to see her pick up her first All-American award on the track.”
The Flames were represented by Seth Ruhling and Joseph Crook in the 10,000M run. Ruhling placed fifth (32:55.44) and Crook was sixth (33:00.41) to give Lee seven team points. David Richards of Houghton College won the race with a time of 32:28.17.
“Seth and Joseph ran fantastic races, setting big personal bests,” said Morgan. “We wanted both runners to finish in scoring position. They exceeded that goal and finished a few positions higher than expected. Both runners were more than 20 seconds under the previous school record. Ruhling was the top freshman in the field. This bodes well for out future.”
Both Lee squads will look to add to their point totals on Friday evening as the respective 4x800M relay teams hit the track. The Lady Flames are scheduled to run at 5:30 p.m. with the Flames starting at 6 p.m.