Four Tigers competing in Indoor National Championships
Four student-athletes representing the Fort Hays State track and field teams will compete at the 2021 NCAA Division II Indoor National Championships this weekend (March 11-13) in Birmingham, Ala.
Free live video will be available all weekend via NCAA.com.
Matthew Pieper will open the weekend for the Tigers in the heptathlon on Thursday beginning at 11 a.m. The senior will wrap up competition with the final three disciplines on Friday beginning at 10 a.m. Pieper qualified for his first national championship appearance after taking first place at the MIAA Championships with a school-record total of 5,258 points. He recorded personal-bests in six of the seven disciplines this season, including clearing a provisional distance of 23-7.5 in the long jump. The Colby native ranks sixth on the declaration list out of 10 competitors.
Alexandra Hart will look to complete an undefeated indoor season when the high jump competition begins at 4:30 p.m. Friday. The freshman enters the national meet with the top mark in the country thanks to her school-record clearance of 5-10.5. Hart won the MIAA Championship with a top height of 5-9.25 in her most recent competition, taking home first place for the fifth time in five tries this season. The Rolla native is one of 14 individuals scheduled to compete in the high jump.
Lyric Holman is slated to run in the preliminary round of the 60m dash Friday evening at 7:45 p.m. with hopes of advancing to Saturday's finals, which will run at 6:10 p.m. The junior is tied for ninth on the performance chart out of 12 entries thanks to her school-record time of 7.59. Holman will run in the second of two heats and has been assigned lane No. 3. The top two times in each heat plus the next four best times will advance to the finals on Saturday. The Junction City native is making her first appearance at the national meet this week.
Ryan Stanley will wait until Saturday to compete in the pole vault competition, which is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. The two-time All-American heads into the event ranked seventh on the national performance list with his season-best mark of 16-9.25, which the Bennington native cleared at the MIAA Championships late last month (Feb. 27). This is the third time Stanley has qualified for the national championships, following a fourth-place finish at the 2019 outdoor championships as a freshman and last year's indoor championships that were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.