EYE ON THE EAGLES | Two former Ashland U track & field standouts to return to world stage

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Former Ashland University track standout Trevor Bassitt earned a spot on Team USA for the 2022 World Athletics Championships by placing second in the men's 400-meter hurdles at the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., on June 26.
Former Ashland University track standout Trevor Bassitt earned a spot on Team USA for the 2022 World Athletics Championships by placing second in the men's 400-meter hurdles at the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., on June 26.

The following is a roundup of recent happenings in Ashland University sports.

MEN’S AND WOMEN’S TRACK & FIELD 

For the second time in 2022, former Ashland University track and field greats Trevor Bassitt and Katie Nageotte will be members of Team USA.

On June 26, at the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., Bassitt turned in a personal-best time in the men's 400-meter hurdles for the second day in a row at 47.47 seconds and placed second to earn a spot on Team USA for the 2022 World Athletics Championships, which also will be contested in Eugene.

"It's an honor. It's a blessing. I know Jud was helping throughout the whole way," Bassitt said to NBC's Lewis Johnson in a post-race interview, referencing former AU track and field head coach Jud Logan, who passed away in January.

Bassitt also wore his "YEP" patch to honor Logan during the weekend.

His time of 47.47 is the fifth fastest in the event in collegiate history, all divisions, including in-season and out-of-season times.

Bassitt, who finished second in the world in the 400 meters at indoor worlds in Serbia in March, qualified for the finals thanks to a then-personal-best time of 48.38 in a third-place finish in the semifinals on June 25. He turned in the second-best time in the field at 49.07 in the first round on June 24.

Finishing his storied AU career in late May, Bassitt collected 10 NCAA Division II national championships and 21 D-II All-American awards.

On June 24, Nageotte finished third in the women’s pole vault with a season-best mark of 4.65 meters/15-feet-3 to claim the final spot on Team USA for outdoor worlds.

Nageotte, who earlier this year was named to the 2022 class of the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Division II Athlete Hall of Fame, won Olympic gold for Team USA in the pole vault at the Summer Olympics in August 2021 and was world runner-up indoors in the spring in Serbia.

She is the fourth-best women's outdoor pole vaulter in the world all-time at 4.95/16-2¾.

In her two years at Ashland, Nageotte won two Division II national titles and was a three-time D-II All-American.

On June 23, former Eagle Drew Windle placed 27th (1:52.14) in the first round of the men’s 800. Windle won eight D-II national titles and was a 15-time All-American as an Eagle.

MEN’S BASKETBALL 

Ashland men's basketball coach John Ellenwood recently announced three additions to the 2022-23 roster, bringing the total of newcomers to the program for the upcoming season to seven.

Jaret Griffith, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound wing, comes to the Eagles from NCAA Division I Stetson. In his freshman season with the Hatters in 2019-20, Griffith appeared in seven games off the bench, scoring six points in the season opener against Trinity Baptist.

His prep career was spent at Western Reserve, Gould Academy in Maine and Akron Coventry. He scored more than 1,000 career points and was a two-time All-Ohio selection.

From Huron, Griffith will have three seasons of collegiate eligibility remaining.

James Manns, a 6-7, 210-pound forward, is transferring in from D-I Wright State.

With the Raiders, Manns played in 66 games. His best season was 2019-20, when he averaged 5.9 points and 1.8 rebounds in 24 games off the bench, shooting 47.7% from the field, 45.8% from 3-point range and 87.5% from the free-throw line.

As a prep star at Walnut Ridge, Manns was part of a Division II state semifinalist team before finishing at Kingston Prep. From Columbus, he will have one season of eligibility remaining as a graduate transfer.

Simon Wheeler III, a 5-11, 160-pound point guard, prepped at Bella Vista Prep in Arizona, then played at PHHoenix Prep, also in Arizona.

Wheeler was first team All-Grind Session playing in the Under Armour Grind Session post-grad league, averaging 19.0 points and 8.0 assists while leading his team to the league's semifinals.

In high school, he played alongside Emoni Bates, the nation's top-ranked player in the class of 2021, then finished his senior season in Arizona due to the COVID-19 rules in the state of Michigan.

From Detroit, Mich., Wheeler III is an incoming freshman.

Griffith, Manns and Wheeler III join four freshmen who were previously announced as part of the AU 2022-23 class — Colonel Crawford wing Carter Valentine, Bexley wing/forward Chris Mitchell, Canal Winchester point guard Derrick James and Midview wing Adan Gregory.

This article originally appeared on Ashland Times Gazette: Two former Ashland U T&F greats to return to world stage