Four Orediggers named All-American in Track and Field
The following is from the Montana Tech Athletic Department and Associate Director Nick Bowsher:
MARION, Indiana – Montana Tech finished their third trip and only second appearance at the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships. The Orediggers earned four All-American honors in a solid showing for a young team on the national stage. “We capped off a tremendous year with another great national meet,” said head coach Zach Kughn.
Freshman Jesse Mechem took 15th in the shot put on the final day throwing 15.68 meters. The other freshman thrower Cade VanVleet finished 16th in the discus with a mark of 47.75 meters.
Justin Morgan, who started seeded 29 out of 30 participants in the preliminaries of the 3,000-meter steeple chase, took 12th overall. Morgan ran 9:34.79 seconds in the finals on Friday.
“Almost all of our athletes that came here exceeded expectations beating their seed by quite a bit. I’m really proud of this group and their performances. They represented the rest of our athletes back home and our program as a whole really well.”
The top eight finishers earn All-American in each event.
The Orediggers earning All-American at the meet were Abby Clark, third in the pentathlon; Edwin Kipainoi, third in the 10,000 meters and eighth in the 5,000 meter; and Jenna Jordan took seventh in the javelin.
“That makes 17 All-Americans in our three years as a program. It was also the first All-American awards for Abby, Edwin, and Jenna. We’ve established ourselves as a good young program and we are heading in a great direction,"
Kipainoi is a junior and Clark and Jordan are sophomores. Clark and Jordan were the only Orediggers attending the national championship that went the previous year. This is the first year Clark or any Oredigger competed in a multi event.
The Montana Tech men finished with six points and in 42nd place out of 76 teams. The Tech women had eight points and finished in 32nd of 61 teams.
“I’m excited to see what we can do moving forward. All eight national qualifiers will return next year.”