(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) – Senior Brent Vogel and junior Erin Alewine each picked up their first national championships in indoor track, winning the heptathlon and pentathlon at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships.
Vogel earned his second career national championship, after claiming the 2011 outdoor decathlon title. An All-American in the heptathlon in both 2010 and 2011 before missing 2012 to injury, Vogel recorded a career-high 5,760 points for the title, breaking his own UCM school record by nearly 300 points. The Jefferson City native opened the multi-event with a third-place finish in the 60-meter dash before winning the long jump competition, placing 4th in the shot put, and 5th in the high jump over the first day of competition.
Opening up the conclusion of the heptathlon with the 60-meter hurdles on Saturday, Vogel posted 8.11 to win the event. After his 6th place finish in the pole vault, however, Vogel found himself trailing Lake Superior State’s Justin Balczak by eight points with only the 1,000-meter run to go. Vogel bested Balczak by over ten seconds in the race, picking up enough of an advantage to earn the victory.
His 5,760 points sets a new record for both the NCAA Division II Championship meet, as well as a new facility record for the CrossPlex Complex in Birmingham, Ala.
Alewine earned her first ever national title, picking up 3,925 points in the pentathlon. The junior opened the event with a third-place, 8.78 second result in the 60-meter hurdles, behind teammate Zoe Sharplin, who won the event. Alewine then won the high jump and long jump en route to the victory. Sharplin had a strong showing as well, picking up first place in the shot put, and finishing 3rd overall, with 3,768 points.
Sophomore Madison Smith place 8th in the pentathlon, with 3,593 points.
Narrowly missing out on All-American status, senior Zak Thompson finished the men’s shot put in 9th place, with his best throw of 55′ 3.5″ (16.85m) coming on his second attempt. Thompson qualified for the event finals, but was unable to improve upon his mark.
After earning All-American honors in the long jump on Friday, freshman Meelis Siimson earned his second All-American award in as many days, in the triple jump. Siimson placed 3rd with a mark of 50′ 8.75″ (15.46m).
Later in the day, Alewine looked for her second All-American award of the day in the women’s high jump. The junior fell short, placing 13th with a mark of 5′ 5″ (1.65m). In the final UCM appearance of the Championships, senior distance runner Laban Sialo competed in the 3,000-meter run, where he also placed 13th. Sialo finished in 8:19.95.
The Mules finished up in 7th place in the team standings, with 29 points. UCM finishes as the highest team from the MIAA, and second-highest out of the central region, behind only Minnesota State (31 pts., 5th). The Jennies finish in 13th place in the team standings, collecting 20 points. St. Augustine’s (N.C.) wins the men’s title, while Academy of Art (Calif.) claims the women’s championship.
Both the Mules and Jennies open the outdoor track season on March 30, when they travel to Pittsburg, Kan. for the Pittsburg State Open.