Summer 2009 | Caring for creation
Senior half-miler sweeps 2009 indoor and outdoor national championships
|Ashley Graybill ’09
March 14 at the Rose-Hulman Institute in Indiana,
Ashley Graybill ’09 copped the first women’s national title for St. Norbert since
Laura Salm ’93 claimed indoor high jump titles in 1991 and 1993.
Barely two months later Graybill capped her indoor 800-meter title with a second national championship. Her win came in a strongly contested run at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships in Ohio, at Marietta College’s Don Drumm Stadium.
Graybill became the first St. Norbert track and field athlete to sweep the same event championships in the indoor and outdoor seasons in the same year. Her second championship brought the college its first national title in outdoor track and field.
At the indoor meet at Rose-Hulman Institute’s Hulbert Arena, Graybill ran a Division III season-best time of 2 minutes 9.95 seconds, exactly a second faster than runner-up Jessica Scott of UW-Platteville. Other than Scott, Graybill’s run was more than two seconds faster than the rest of the field.
Outdoors, Graybill’s school-record time of 2 minutes 9.18 seconds clipped The College of New Jersey’s Jianna Spadacinni at the finish line, with Spadacinni finishing in 2:09.37. UW-Platteville’s Jessica Scott, the runner-up to Graybill at this year’s indoor meet and top seed at the outdoor event, was third in 2:09.83.
St. Norbert track and field coach
Don Augustine said Graybill was fifth with about 200 meters to go before an impressive finishing kick gave the impetus to her win.
“She was about three wide on the outside with about 100 meters to go and she took off,” Augustine said. “She passed the pack with about 80 meters to go and held on from there.”
Graybill was the final qualifier into the eight-person finals after a time of 2:12.84 during the trials the day before.
Jenny Scherer ’10, St. Norbert’s second athlete to qualify for nationals this year, entered the 5,000-meter run as the 11th seed out of 18 entrants and finished fourth for her second All-America honor of the outdoor championships. Scherer also placed fourth in the 10,000-meter run on Thursday.
St. Norbert recorded a top-10 team finish, placing in a tie for 10th with 20 points.
The Green Knights, who finished eighth at the NCAA indoor meet in March, recorded their two highest team finishes in school history this season.
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