Murfin Highlights Day One of NCAA Championships
May 24, 2018
LA CROSSE, Wis. – The University of Dubuque track and field teams kicked off the first day of the 2018 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships with the 12 Spartans participating in five events on Thursday. Blaze Murfin started his weekend on a strong note, earning All-American honors in the discus after a third place finish.
Blaze Murfin was the first Spartan to compete in the championships, starting the day off on a high note. On his second throw of the afternoon in the men’s discus, Murfin launched his best throw of the season by more than three meters for a school record mark of 53.52m (174-08). It was the best throw of anyone in the first flight and put him in second place overall heading into the finals. After his three attempts in the finals, his best throw remained 53.52 and was only passed by one other thrower to finish in third place and earn All-American status for the second time in his outdoor career and the first time in the discus. Murfin will also compete in the shot put on Friday and hammer throw on Saturday.
Shelby Lane and Kayla Slowick were the first UD women to compete this weekend, following up Murfin in the discus. Neither Lane or Slowick qualified for the finals but on the last throw of the day, Lane launched her best throw of the day (42.61m/139-09.75) by nearly four meters to jump up the board to finish 14th. Freshman Kayla Slowick, completed her first NCAA Championships with a 16th place finish. Slowick posted a throw of 41.90 on her third and final throw for the best throw of her day.
The men’s 4x100 was the first running event for the Spartans. The relay team of Kyle Thomas, Clayton Gray, Isaiah Ellis and Maurice Cushion-Lewis finished in a time of 41.24, good enough for fifth in their heat and 10th overall, just missing the cut for the finals on Saturday.
The women's 4x100 relay team of Alyssa Skrove, Brittany Burks, Asha Flowers and Alison Beeman ran on Thursday afternoon in the prelims. The four teamed up for a time of 47.64, finishing in 11th place and missing the qualifying mark for the finals.
Abby Willis wrapped up the day for UD, participating in the javelin throw. Willis came out with a strong first throw, throwing the javelin 39.53m (129-08.25) to put her in ninth place and in position for the finals. Willis' top throw stayed at 39.53m as she held in ninth place until the third set of tosses, when she was unfortantely passed by one thrower, knocking her out of qualifying for the finals.
UD’s Friday Participants
1:00 p.m. – Tanasha Atwater – Women’s Shot Put (Prelims/Finals)
3:00 p.m. – Blaze Murfin – Men’s Shot Put (Prelims/Finals)
4:00 p.m. - Colfay Pointer – Men’s 400m run (Prelims)