Michael Stewart, Assistant Sports Editor
Some athletes bring an entirely new meaning to the phrase “bred for success.”
Freshman Hadyn Ashley can easily be placed in that category.
Only in his first track campaign as a Bison, Ashley carved his name into the Oklahoma Baptist University history books as a NCCAA (National Christian College Athletic Association) National Champion and an NCCAA All-American.
“It is truly something I will never forget,” Ashley said. “The trip to New York for nationals was the best moment of my freshman year so far.”
The freshman won the heptathlon event with a facility-record 4,935 points.
He was also seventh in the high jump at 1.83 meters.
In addition to his National Championship, Ashley was named Field Athlete of the Meet and NCCAA Athlete of the Week for his efforts.
To put it simply, God’s gifts are on full display every time Ashley competes.
Ashley, the former No. 1 ranked high school decathlete in the U.S., is now a 15-time All-American over the course of his career.
“Some of my personal goals coming into my freshman year were to win the NCCAA indoor and outdoor national championships as a team and as an individual,” Ashley said. “Also, my goal is to be recognized as a Division Two All-American for indoor and outdoor track all four years as a Bison.”
So far, Ashley seems to be in the right track to become a first-class athlete.
“Thanks to Coach Mastin and Coach Heard, I have grown a lot this year in all of my events,” Ashley said.
“They have shown me things I have never really thought or heard of before, and they have really tried to push me to strive for a higher level.”
The sky is the limit for Ashley, who still has three more years to learn and grow.
“The track team pushes each other to be the best we can be,” Ashley said. “It has really paid off.”
Ultimately, after his first season as a Bison, Ashley’s end objective is to qualify for the Olympic Trials in 2020 in Eugene, Oregon, and make the U.S. Olympic team.
With his stellar indoor track season wrapping up, Ashley now turns his sights toward outdoor track season and fulfilling his expectations.