GRAYBILL DOES IT AGAIN - CLAIMS NCAA 800-METER OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIP

Senior half-miler sweeps 2009 indoor and oudoor national championships in 800 meters; Scherer finishes fourth in 5,000 meters

From Sports Information Director, May 23, 2009 | Women's Track & Field
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

MARIETTA, Ohio - Ashley Graybill won her second national championship of the 2009 track and field season with a rousing win of the 800-meter run at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships at Marietta College's Don Drumm Stadium.

Graybill, who won the indoor 800-meter championship in March, won a strongly contested race. 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, 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 was the impetus to Graybill's 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 Friday's trials, but became the first St. Norbert College track and field athlete to win national championships during both indoor and outdoor seasons. The national title in the outdoor 800 for Graybill was St. Norbert's first in outdoor track and field. Other than Graybill's two championships, Laura Salm's national titles in the indoor high jump in 1991 and 1993 are the only women's track and field national championships in St. Norbert history.

St. Norbert junior Jenny Scherer, who entered the 5,000-meter run as the 11th seed out of 18 entrants, finished fourth for her second All-America honor of the outdoor championships. Scherer also placed fourth in the 10,000-meter run on Thursday.

Scherer ran a time of 17:23.22 in temperatures soaring over 80 degrees. UW-Oshkosh's Ayla Mitchell won the event with a time of 17:14.52, while Carroll University's Megan O'Grady was second in 17:19.83. Carleton College's Simone Childs-Walker was third in 17:22.45.

St. Norbert recorded a top-10 team finish, placing in a tie for tenth 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.