Colorado Mesa University came away with two All-Americans following the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships. Nolan Ellis placed 5th in the pole vault competition while D’Angelo Foster placed 7th in the heptathlon.
“I think it’s an honor,” Foster said about being named an All-American. “Coming into the competition at the very last spot, right at 14th place and still able to move up in rankings, competing with some of the top athletes in the nation it’s truly a blessing.”
Foster finished with 5,160 points after the two-day event, which is a CMU record for the heptathlon. Foster went into the second day in 14th place, but moved all the way up to 7th place following the three events on Friday.
“I’ve had many heptathlons in my last few years as a collegiate athlete, so I knew day two is my better day,” Foster said. “I enter that day knowing that there is some good competition this day but I’m going to have to capitalize if I want to be an All-American.”
Originally Foster had finished 8th, but was increased to 7th after another competitor was disqualified in the 1,000 meter for running on the inside of the track.
“[I’m] very blessed to become an All-American,” Ellis said. “[I] couldn’t have done it without my coaches or teammates.”
Ellis finished tied for 5th place with a height of 16-10.75, which broke his old-school record by 5.25 inches.
“I think when it comes to pole vault there’s always something to fix or to work on,” Ellis said when asked about breaking his own school record. “You’ll never be perfect and if you are perfect you just broke the world record. Attention to detail is huge. When you have a good coach and that you click with and you work your tail off it’s all pays off.”
This was the first time for both Ellis and Foster to be at the national championship, so it was a unique experience for both competitors.
“It’s just a completely different atmosphere,” Foster said. “I usually get a little nervous for other meets but the amount of nervousness I get from meets like this are incomparable to any regular meet during the season.”
“Being able compete with such great guys in the pole vault is always amazing,” Ellis said. “I have made some friends last year at nationals and it’s always fun to clear big bars with them again [during] this nationals.”
The indoor season has now ended, but the outdoor season will be starting up March 18 for these two in the first meet of the season. It will be at the Colorado Slope Battle in Pueblo.