The University of Findlay men and women's outdoor track and field teams wrapped up the first day of the 2015 NCAA Division II National Championship on May 21 in Allendale, Mich. The men are currently leading the event with a total of 21 points while the women are 18th with one point.
Senior Justin Welch headlined the opening day by capturing his second straight national championship in the hammer throw. Welch recorded a distance of 221'05 on his second throw to secure the title, which was four feet longer than the runner-up.
Welch, the 2015 Midwest Region and Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Field Athlete of the Year, has now won four national titles during his tenure with the Oilers. He won indoor titles in the weight throw during the 2014 and 2015 seasons and has his two victories in the hammer throw during the outdoor season (2014, 2015).
Sophomore Alexander Zolotoglavyy grabbed the bronze in the long jump at 24'11 while teammate Michael Bruce, a junior, placed fourth with a leap of 24'08.5. Both athletes earned All-American honors for their performances in the event.
Senior Taylor Miller was also in action for the men on Thursday and took 17th in the hammer throw at 155'07.
On the women's side, senior Pam Showman is currently eighth in the heptathlon with 3,146 points. Her best event of the day was the high jump as she took sixth in the round with a mark of 5'04.5.
Sophomore Erica King scored a point for the Oilers by taking eighth in the hammer throw at 180'03 while senior Kendra Averesch was ninth in the same event with a heave of 179'04. King's eighth place finish enabled her to capture All-American accolades in the event.
Junior Maud Sanmiquel was also in action for Findlay on the first day and finished 11th in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:01.29, narrowly missing a spot in the finals.
The Oilers will be back at it again tomorrow. Welch is scheduled to compete in the discus throw while Bruce will take part in the triple jump. Senior Demorrio Leggett will also compete in the triple jump while senior Dillon Webster will run in the preliminary rounds of the 800-meter and 4x400-meter relay. He will team with sophomores Sergi Torres, Maliik Briggs and Derek Collins in the event.
Showman will finish up the heptathlon for the women while junior Lydia Guagenti will compete in the high jump. Junior Samantha Grippe will also be in action for Findlay, running in the preliminary round of the 800-meter.