COLLEGE STATION, Texas – University of Akron sophomore Matt Ludwig (Chardon, Ohio) and junior Terrell McClain (Youngstown, Ohio) captured first-team United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-America accolades to direct the efforts of the Zips' Track and Field program on the opening day of the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships on Friday, March 10.
As a team, Akron earned nine points in the men's competition and currently stands in eighth place in the team standings.
Making his NCAA Indoor Championship debut, Ludwig earned a third-place performance in the men's pole vault eclipsing 18-0.50 (5.50m). Clearing 17-2.75 (5.25m) and 17-6.50 (5.35m) on his opening jumps, Ludwig needed two attempts to better 17-10.50 (5.45m) before going down to his last run at 18-0.50 (5.50m) before clearing the mark. He came up short of establishing a new career-high mark of 18-2.50 (5.55m) as he was unable to eclipse the height on each of his three attempts.
After garnering second-team USTFCCCA All-America accolades during the outdoor campaign in 2016 while competing at Missouri, Ludwig became a first-team All-America recipient for the initial time with his showing on Friday. Ludwig's mark narrowly missed equaling his career-best jump of 18-1 (5.51m) set at the Zips Invitational on Feb. 17.
"Matt (Ludwig) was tough on his third attempt at 18+ and he did well against a very strong field," Akron head coach Dennis Mitchell commented.
McClain captured first-team All-America accolades on the strength of a sixth-place performance in the men's long jump soaring 25-7.50 (7.81m). A year ago, McClain earned second-team All-America honors in the long jump at the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore.
"Terrell (McClain) came through strong in the long jump hitting his biggest jump on his first attempt," said Mitchell. "He made everyone chase him throughout the competition."
Senior Nikki Manson (Glasgow, Scotland) turned in a 10th-place effort in the women's high jump surpassing 5-11.25 (1.81m). By virtue of her mark, she garnered second-team All-America laurels for the first time. Manson cleared the opening height of 5-9.25 (1.76m) before needing three attempts to surpass 5-11.25 (1.81m).
Making her second straight NCAA Championship appearance in the women's pentathlon was junior Jackie Siefring (Covington, Ohio). A two-time second-team All-America recipient, Siefring crafted a five-event cumulative score of 4,084 to finish 12th to earn second-team All-America accolades for the third time.
Siefring opened the competition placing 13th in the 60-meter hurdles (8.76) before finishing ninth and 10th, respectively, in the shot put (39-9.75/12.13m) and high jump (5-4.25/1.63m). She registered a mark of 19-3.50 (5.88m) to place seventh in the long jump before turning in a fourth-place showing in the 800 meters crossing the line in 2:16.72.
"We came close with Nikki (Manson) in scoring in the high jump," Mitchelll stated. "She did better than she was ranked and I'm proud of the hard effort Jackie (Siefring) put in. Overall it was not a bad night with the two first-team All-Americans and a pair of second-team All-Americans."
Freshman Lucy Bryan (Bristol, England) will round out Akron's competitors at the NCAA Championships participating in the women's pole vault on Saturday, March 11, at 5 p.m. ET.
Jackie Siefring (4,084-12th); 60-Meter Hurdles: Jackie Siefring (8.76/13th); High Jump: Jackie Siefring (10th-5-4.25/1.63m); Shot Put: Jackie Siefring (9th-39-9.75/12.13m); Long Jump: Jackie Siefring (7th-19-3.50/5.88m); 800 Meters: Jackie Siefring (4th-2:16.72)
High Jump: Nikki Manson (10th-5-11.25/1.81m)