PITTSBURG, Kan. — Six Wildcats achieved excellence at the NCAA DII Indoor Track and Field Championships, earning All-American honors for their performance on Saturday, according to a news release from CWU Athletics.

Between Friday and Saturday’s action, the Wildcats walked away from the NCAA DII Indoor Championships with seven All-American honors.

“We’re really proud of our team today,” CWU head coach Kevin Adkisson said. “To come out of it with the amount of All-Americans we did is a good haul. Especially with a couple newcomers to gaining recognition, it was a solid day.”

Braydon Maier entered day two of the heptathlon in 11th place, tied with Kodiak Landis with 2,707 points. Coach Adkisson hinted at Maier’s ability to have a strong second day in the competition. Maier did not disappoint.

Maier scurried to a fifth-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.44. He followed by pole vaulting 4.80 meters. The mark was the second best of any heptathlon competitors. Maier finished his event with a strong 1,000-meter race time of 2:41.39. He ended the day with 5,288 total points, good enough for seventh place and First Team All-American honors.

Landis put together quality showings in the pole vault and 60-meter hurdles, finishing sixth and ninth respectively. Landis finished 12th overall, taking home second team All-American honors.

Zach Whittaker arrived at Nationals with nothing to lose. He was the last person to qualify for his event, ranking 16th in triple jump before Saturday’s competition. Whittaker put together an incredible performance, launching 15.05 meters (49-04.50) eclipsing his qualifying mark of 14.85 meters. Whittaker walked away with first team All-American honors.

“It’s huge when people can pull out their personal best on a big stage,” Adkisson said. “Zach came in as the last person to qualify and made it into the finals. Every jump that Zach had that was legal was a new personal best.”

HarLee Ortega made her Wildcat teammates proud with her performance in the pentathlon. Her best effort came in the high jump, in which she finished second with a mark of 1.65 meters. Ortega finished sixth in long jump with a mark of 5.48 meters. She also reached ninth place in the 800-meter race with a time of 2:23.49. Ortega took 10th in the shot put and 12th in the 60-meter hurdles. Overall, she finished in seventh place and gained first team All-American honors.

“HarLee did a great job,” Adkisson said. “She had one or two off events, but had a couple really big ones too. That was great.”

Halle Irvine had a strong showing in the pole vault. Irvine cleared 3.83 meters (12-06.75) giving her an 11th place finish. The mark was good enough for second team All-American honors.

After achieving Second Team All-American honors in the 5,000-meter race on Friday, Alexa Shindruk would do it again on Saturday. Shindruk competed in the 3,000-meter race, completing the event in 9:36.71. The time is a new CWU record.

“Alexa ran a beautiful race,” Adkisson said. “She did everything she needed to do to potentially get some points out of it. She came even closer tonight to getting one of those top eight spots than she did last night. She pulled out a PR and a new school record.”

The Wildcats officially start their outdoor season on March 16 at the Eastern Oregon Team Challenge in La Grande, Oregon.


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