Track and Field: Two All-Americans and a School Record For Raiders on Day one at NCAA Championships

Bri Aveni (Photo by Joe Colon)
Bri Aveni (Photo by Joe Colon)

GENEVA, Ohio -- Mount Union's track and field teams posted a school record, had a pair of All-American finishes and qualified for finals in three other events on the first day of the NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships Thursday at SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.

Freshman Bri Aveni (Geneva) broke her own school record in the women's pole vault with a mark 12-feet, 7.5-inches to finish seventh and secure All-American honors in her national meet debut. Aveni, who came into the meet seeded 17th, leaped over the bar on her last attempt to become the school's first-ever All-American in the event.

The other All-American performance came from senior Lucas Cooper (Hanoverton / United Local), who came into the national meet ranked 14th in the men's discus and placed second with a career-best throw of 168-feet, 7-inches in his final meet. He is the Purple Raiders first All-American in the event since 2014.

There were two other women's competitors for the Raiders as senior Hilary Reigle (Madison) placed 11th in the 10,000 meters and junior Katie Durisin (Painesville / Riverside) was 17th in the 3,000m steeplechase.

Mount Union qualified for Saturday's finals in three other events.

Senior Connor Troyer (Sugarcreek / Garaway) in the men's 400 meter hurdles, the men's 4x400 meter relay team of juniors AJ Digby (Tontogany / Otsego) and James Roth (Massillon / Perry) along with freshman Dylon Campbell (Cuyahoga Falls) and senior Clark Etzler (Elida) along with freshman Maryonna Cathey (New London) in the women's 400 meter hurdles.

On Friday, Troyer and junior Mason Plant (Shreve / Triway) will run in the preliminaries of the 110 meter hurdles, juniors Sean Sherman (Springboro / Bishop Fenwick) and Tanner Slack (New Concord / John Glenn) will compete in the men's shot put and men's high jump respectively, freshman Kennady Gibbins (Navarre / Fairless) goes in the women's high jump while sophomore Cortni Arp (Copley) and Roth run in the preliminaries of the women's and men's 400 meters.