LA CROSSE, Wisc. --- The Moravian College men's and track & field squad had two competitors on the opening day of the 2018 NCAA Division III National Championships at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Thursday.
Freshman Zion Howard competed in the 200-meter dash preliminaries Thursday in his first trip to the NCAA Division III National Championships. Howard ran in the third heat in lane eight, and the heat overcame a false start before getting underway. Howard took a lead coming off of the turn and posted a time of 21.79 seconds to win the heat to earn an automatic qualifying spot in the finals on Saturday, May 26 at 3:40 p.m. EDT. Howard's qualifying time of was the second fastest by just 0.01 seconds despite running into a -5.0 wind reading, the strongest of the three preliminary races.
"Zion was getting a little tired towards the end of the year, so we gave him a bit of a break heading into NCAAs and clearly it made a difference," Head Coach Jesse Baumann said. "He had a lot of distractions with a false start, it being his first NCAA meet but despite that he took charge of the race from 70 meters and relied on his competitiveness we became used to in April. He had one of the top times into a terrible headwind, so it truly was a remarkable day."
Sophomore Greg Jaindl also competed at the NCAA meet for the first time in his career, running in the first heat of the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Jaindl ran a time of 9:45.85 to finish tenth in his heat and 20th overall.
"Greg was a little fatigued coming into the meet," stated Baumann. "Ideally, we wouldn't have raced at Widener, but we knew he may have needed it to get in. It was extremely warm on top of it, and he just didn't feel himself today. He put himself in position early on and tried making a move a few times in the last kilometer, but his legs just didn't have it. It's still great experience for what I expect to be many NCAA meets to come for him."
The Greyhounds will return to action on Friday, May 25 with senior Robert Condo in the men's javelin at 12:00 p.m. EDT.