Contact: Mark Albanese, Director of Sports Communication
GENEVA, Ohio - Wet conditions were unable to dampen a strong finish to the 2017 season for Pacific Lutheran University student-athletes Brad Hodkinson and Machaela Graddy on Thursday, both representing the Lutes with big performances at the NCAA Division III Track & Field Championships at the SPIRE Institute.
"It was great seeing Brad and Machaela compete at the national championships today," said Head Coach Adam Frye. "It was a tremendous opportunity for them and they represented PLU well."
Hodkinson placed 14th in the 10,000-meters, completing 25 laps around the rain drenched track in 30 minutes, 55.48 seconds. The sophomore hung tough with the race leaders at the start and saved his fastest lap for the finish, clocking a 61-second final 400-meters en route to the second fastest 10K of his nascent career. University of Wisconsin-Platteville's Ian LaMere won the race in 29:15.12 for his third consecutive title in the event, edging the runner-up finisher by four hundredths of a second.
"Today was a great opportunity to compete at the national meet with Pacific Northwest weather. It was a tough race and I didn't end up where I wanted to, but I'll be able to take this experience with me and use it for next year to help me at future national meets," said Hodkinson.
In the javelin, Graddy finished seventh in her flight and 18th overall with a throw of 125 feet, 3 1/4 inches. The junior threw 118' 5 1/4" on her first attempt and 115' 0 3/4" on her second attempt before uncorking her best throw of the afternoon in her third and final attempt. Moravian College's Mary Kate Duncan won the javelin, posting a throw of 151' 9".
"It was a great experience and I was happy to have the opportunity to represent PLU at this level," said Graddy. "Things didn't go as well as I'd hoped but I had so much fun enjoying it all along the way!"
Both Hodkinson and Graddy were making their first appearances at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Hodkinson is a two-time qualifier for the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships, earning All-American honors this fall while Graddy was a member of the PLU women's soccer team that earned a bid to the NCAA Division III Championships last November.
"It brings to a close a great season for PLU track & field. The future is bright with a strong group of returners and incoming Lutes," said Frye.