Barnes, Yerk Set New Records at MCC Championships

Barnes, Yerk Set New Records at MCC Championships



April 30, 2009 - Ashford University’s track and field team laid claim to a pair of shattered league records on the first day of the Midwest Collegiate Conference Outdoor Championships in Dubuque, Iowa, on Thursday at Chalmer’s Field.

Cloudy skies were intermittent throughout the day, giving way to some humid heat in the early afternoon before light showers came towards the end of the day. Color-coordinated mohawks and sunglasses were a common sight among conference competitors at the University of Dubuque.

Senior Franklin Barnes and freshman Aaron Yerk helped the Saints’ men race out to a fourth-place start with 39 points as the duo set new records in the 400-meter hurdles and pole vault, respectively.

Barnes clocked in at a provisional time of 55.00 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles, qualifying for the NAIA Outdoor Championships May 21-23 in Edwardsville, Ill. He was just honored earlier this week as Ashford’s Male Athlete of the Year for the second time in his career.

Barnes also turned in the top preliminary time in the 110-meter hurdles at 15.72 seconds to advance to tomorrow’s finals.

“Today, Franklin proved he is a national contender in the 400-meter hurdles and earned his ticket to Edwardsville (Ill.),” said Ashford Head Coach Tyson Graham. “This is extremely thrilling and we’re very proud of him.”

Yerk took home first-place honors in the pole vault, clearing 4.10 meters. He also earned points for the Saints in the discus, placing seventh with a toss of 35.86m.

“Aaron had a great day and it was great to see him win the conference title outright,” Graham said.

Caleb Snyder also checked in with a runner-up finish in the long jump at 6.69m, signifying a near complete recovery from a nagging season injury. Keven Griffin finished eighth in the javelin throw and freshman Austin (A.J.) Smith just missed placing.

Andrew Drinkall and John Gaffney set the tone with two minute splits in the 4x800-meter relay and Ademola Are and Arvell Barginear wrapped it up to ensure a Saints' second-place finish. Graham is excited about the potential for tomorrow’s 800-meter run after today’s performance.

Kim Fabry (4.80m) and Natalie Solms (4.49m) highlighted Ashford’s performance in the long jump, the combo finishing fourth and seventh, respectively, as the women finished day one in sixth with 11 points.

Fabry and Laura Minertz qualified for the 100-meter and 200-meter finals tomorrow morning. Minertz equaled her career-best time in the preliminaries at 13.06, while Fabry was right behind at 13.47. Minertz pulled away to finish nearly a second ahead of her heat in the 200-meter prelims at 26.60, and Fabry chalked up a new personal-best time of 27.77.

Kelsey Schraeder and senior Alexis Turner set personal records in the javelin, battling through a slick runway from overnight rainfall.

Sophomore Erika Jakobsen overcame a lingering illness to finish fifth in the 10,000-meter run and will compete tomorrow in the steeplechase.

The final day of competition begins tomorrow morning with the triple jump, shot put, hammer throw and high jump leading things off at 10 a.m.

April 30, 2009 - Ashford University’s track and field team laid claim to a pair of shattered league records on the first day of the Midwest Collegiate Conference Outdoor Championships in Dubuque, Iowa, on Thursday at Chalmer’s Field.

Cloudy skies were intermittent throughout the day, giving way to some humid heat in the early afternoon before light showers came towards the end of the day. Color-coordinated mohawks and sunglasses were a common sight among conference competitors at the University of Dubuque.

Senior Franklin Barnes and freshman Aaron Yerk helped the Saints’ men race out to a fourth-place start with 39 points as the duo set new records in the 400-meter hurdles and pole vault, respectively.

Barnes clocked in at a provisional time of 55.00 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles, qualifying for the NAIA Outdoor Championships May 21-23 in Edwardsville, Ill. He was just honored earlier this week as Ashford’s Male Athlete of the Year for the second time in his career.

Barnes also turned in the top preliminary time in the 110-meter hurdles at 15.72 seconds to advance to tomorrow’s finals.

“Today, Franklin proved he is a national contender in the 400-meter hurdles and earned his ticket to Edwardsville (Ill.),” said Ashford Head Coach Tyson Graham. “This is extremely thrilling and we’re very proud of him.”

Yerk took home first-place honors in the pole vault, clearing 4.10 meters. He also earned points for the Saints in the discus, placing seventh with a toss of 35.86m.

“Aaron had a great day and it was great to see him win the conference title outright,” Graham said.

Caleb Snyder also checked in with a runner-up finish in the long jump at 6.69m, signifying a near complete recovery from a nagging season injury. Keven Griffin finished eighth in the javelin throw and freshman Austin (A.J.) Smith just missed placing.

Andrew Drinkall and John Gaffney set the tone with two minute splits in the 4x800-meter relay and Ademola Are and Arvell Barginear wrapped it up to ensure a Saints' second-place finish. Graham is excited about the potential for tomorrow’s 800-meter run after today’s performance.

Kim Fabry (4.80m) and Natalie Solms (4.49m) highlighted Ashford’s performance in the long jump, the combo finishing fourth and seventh, respectively, as the women finished day one in sixth with 11 points.

Fabry and Laura Minertz qualified for the 100-meter and 200-meter finals tomorrow morning. Minertz equaled her career-best time in the preliminaries at 13.06, while Fabry was right behind at 13.47. Minertz pulled away to finish nearly a second ahead of her heat in the 200-meter prelims at 26.60, and Fabry chalked up a new personal-best time of 27.77.

Kelsey Schraeder and senior Alexis Turner set personal records in the javelin, battling through a slick runway from overnight rainfall.

Sophomore Erika Jakobsen overcame a lingering illness to finish fifth in the 10,000-meter run and will compete tomorrow in the steeplechase.

The final day of competition begins tomorrow morning with the triple jump, shot put, hammer throw and high jump leading things off at 10 a.m.