KINGSVILLE, Texas - The Fort Hays State track and field team opened the 2019 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships with two strong performances on Thursday (May 23). Freshman Ryan Stanley picked up All-American honors in the pole vault in his first appearance at the national meet while Brett Meyer advanced to Saturday's finals of the 1,500m run.

Stanley made a strong statement in his National Championship debut, placing fourth in the field of 18 vaulters after heading into the event 10th on the national performance chart. The Bennington, Kan. native soared over the 16-11.5 bar on his first attempt, setting a new personal-best that is just one-half inch off the program record. Stanley very nearly cleared the 17-3.5 bar on the following attempt, but barely grazed the bar on the way down. He was one of just two freshman to earn a spot on the All-American podium.

Meyer secured a spot in the finals of the 1,500m run after placing second in his heat. After cruising in the back of the pack for much of the race, the Scott City, Kan. native took off over the final 150 meters. He made his way to the outside down the final stretch, passing all but one runner to finish in a time of 4:02.55. His final lap time of 55.06 was the fastest full lap between both heats. The senior will look for his sixth All-American trophy Saturday at 5:45 p.m. when he takes on 11 other runners in the finals.

Philip Landrum will look to join Meyer in the finals on Saturday when he takes to the track in the 200m prelims Friday. Landrum will run in the third and final heat, the first of which is scheduled for a 5:50 start.