Alaskans head to NCAA D2 Nationals (Track)
Anchorage’s Ryan Hanley of Colorado School of Mines earned All-American honors in the distance medley relay at the indoor national championships earlier this season.
Now he wants to do the same as an individual at the outdoor championships.
Hanley, of Dimond High fame, is a men’s 800-meter qualifier for the NCAA Division II Track and Field Championships in Charlotte, N.C. The three-day meet starts Thursday.
He is one of five Alaskans going for glory.
Hanley, a freshman, ranks No. 17 with a qualifying time of 1:51.89. It’s the fourth fastest time among underclassmen.
Anchorage’s Demietrius Preston is making his second trip to Nationals. The UAA junior is the No. 3 qualifier in the men’s long jump at 24 feet, 6 inches. He finished 13th in the event last year with a mark of 22-8.
The three Alaska women headed to Nationals are Denali Foldager of Seward, Hallidie Wilt of Unalaska and Savannah Afoa of Anchorage.
Foldager, a sophomore at Cal State-Stanislaus, solidified her spot in the 3,000-meter steeplechase last week with a run of 10:46.22, ranking her 16th out of 18 runners.
The final qualifier in the steeplechase is Wilt, a junior from UAA. Wilt set the school record with a time of 10:48.90 to punch her ticket to Nationals for the first time.
Afoa, a senior at Colorado School of Mines, will compete in the discus for the second straight year.
Last year, she earned All-American honors with an eighth-place finish. This year Afoa was named First Team All-Conference and currently holds the school record (152-4).