KINGSVILLE, Texas – A fantastic track & field season was concluded inside Javelina Stadium at Texas A&M-Kingsville as Liz Bloch, Braden Reichl, Matthew Pahl, and Emily Byrd represented the Black and Gold at the 2019 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field National Championships with a combined four All-America finishes among them.
A senior from St. Clair Shores, Mich., Bloch earned First and Second Team All-America honors on the track this past weekend with top 12 finishes in the 1500m and the 800m. In the 1500m, Bloch finished fifth with a time of 4:37.75. She led the race through the first 300 meters before sliding down to eighth with one lap to go. She recovered and finished the final lap in 1:03.28 to jump three spots, giving her a First Team All-America finish. She punched her ticket to the final with the fourth-best time in the preliminary, running the second heat in a time of 4:32.45.
Bloch also earned Second Team All-America honors in the 800m preliminary with an 11th-place finish in 2:13.50, even though she didn't advance to the final.
"All of them ran to the best of their abilities, but I'm especially proud of Liz," said head coach Jake Isaacson. "She's been such a rock for our programs here and for her to go out fighting for the championship was such a great achievement for her."
Pahl, a junior from Canton, Mich., picked up the first All-America finish for the Huskies in the 10,000m final, where he finished 11th with a time of 31:50.70. The 2019 GLIAC champion in the event, Pahl started out the first half of the race in the top eight before dropping to as low as 16th as the race reached its conclusion. However, Pahl kicked it into overdrive in the final 400 meters and he jumped five other runners to end up in 11th and earn Second Team All-America honors.
A sophomore from Green River, Wyoming, Reichl qualified for the 3000m Steeplechase final by finishing with the ninth-best time in the preliminaries as he clocked in at 9:15.40. In the final, he started the race at the back of the field before moving into the top 10 at the 1000 meter point. Reichl held onto 10th through the next 800 meters before climbing to ninth and then eighth with 400 meters to go, holding off Jake Mitchem of Colorado Mines to finish eighth with a time of 9:04.69 and earn First Team All-America honors.
Although she didn't earn All-America, Byrd still ran a solid race in the Thursday's 10,000m final. She started off the race towards the back of the 20-women field before moving up to 17th at the 4000 meter mark. She remained in 17th until the 7600 meter marker, when she edged into 16th, before jumping two spots down the final stretch. The Perrysburg, Ohio native finished the race in 14th with a time of 39:27.23, as she surged past Leah Lewis of Dallas Baptist and Michaela Reynolds of Colorado Mines with under 400 meters left in the race.
"Matt, Emily, and Braden all had great weekends, and they'll look to continue their paths to success moving forward," Isaacson continued. "I couldn't be more satisfied with our season as a whole, and I'm ready to start planning out how to build off this success next year."
Ashland took home the men's team title with 54 total points, edging out Angelo State by just one point. On the women's side, Lincoln (Mo.) took home the title with 64 points, followed by Adams State with 54 points.
For the complete results of all events from this year's NCAA Championships, click here.