Ballantyne, Gidabuday, Light earn RMAC awards
COLORADO SPRINGS – On Wednesday, the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) announced their Outdoor Track & Field award winners with Adams State University Head Coach Rock Light, sophomore distance runner Sydney Gidabuday, and junior sprinter Micah Ballantyne highlighting individual award nods for the Grizzlies.
In addition, a total of 23 Adams State student-athletes were named All-Conference winners. The ASU Women had eight individuals collect 13 First Team All-Conference honors split between individual events and the 4x100m relay. The ASU Men had 10 individuals compile a total of 12 First Team All-Conference honors split between individual events and the 4x100m relay.
The ASU Women added six student-athletes to the Second Team All-RMAC list as the ASU Men had three named to their respective Second Team All-RMAC.
Owning a pair of NCAA Division II automatic qualifying times and a provisional time, Gidabuday was named RMAC Men’s Track Athlete of the Year. The Orange, California, native ranks first in the nation with his 5000m auto time of 13:39.94 while his auto time in the 10,000m ranks fourth. His outdoor campaign also features a 1500m provisional mark of 3:48.58. At the RMAC Championships in Gunnison, he won the 5000m title by crossing the line in 15:42.99. He preceded that with a 10,000m title at the San Francisco State Distance Carnival. During the outdoor season he notched collegiate-bests in the 1500m and 10,000m. In additional to his Track Athlete of the Year status, he was named First Team All-RMAC in the 5000m and Second Team All-RMAC in the 1500m. Gidabuday has helped Adams State enter the National Championships ranked fourth in the country as the Grizzlies finished second at the RMAC Championships.
After leading the No. 3 ASU Women to a conference title, Light has been named the RMAC Women’s Track & Field Coach of the Year. On the final day of the RMAC Championships, the ASU Women scored 109 points to surge ahead of rival Western State Colorado University for the team crown. The Grizzlies moved to the top spot thanks to three record-setting performances.
With a time of 11.42, Sunayna Wahi set an Adams State and RMAC Championship record for the 100m dash. Wahi then took her talents to compete on ASU’s 4x100m relay team that also set an Adams State and RMAC Championship record with a winning time of 44.84. The relay unit consisted of Wahi, Dianna Johnson, Oweneika Watson, and Jessica Scherrer.
The third record setting feat came from Scherrer in the 400m hurdles. Her winning time of 58.52 also set a RMAC Championship record. In total, the ASU Women collected five individual event titles and one relay title at the conference meet. For the outdoor season, the ASU Women have totaled 19 NCAA Division II provisional marks and six automatic qualifying marks. Light has guided the Grizzlies to 11 marks ranking inside the top 10 of their respective event amongst NCAA DII performers.
Ballantyne swept the men’s 100m and 200m dash events en route to earning Men’s Athlete of the Meet for the RMAC Championships. In addition to his individual feats, Ballantyne helped Adams State register points in the 4x100m and 4x400m relays. With his efforts, the junior was responsible for 24 of Adams State’s 129 points at the three-day meet. Ballantyne has emerged as one of ASU’s top sprinters during the outdoor campaign and has set collegiate-bests in the 100m and 200m dash events. He owns provisional marks in both events with his 100m time of 10.39 ranking ninth and his 200m time of 21.21 ranking 26th amongst NCAA DII student-athletes.
The Grizzlies now prep for the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships on May 25-27 in Bradenton, Florida.