Race for the National Title Begins Thursday for Athenas

Nirel JonesMitchell (CMC) and Tyra Abraham (SC) will both run in the 100 meter dash, 200 meter dash, and 4x100 meter relay. (photo credit: Matthew Fenton)
Nirel JonesMitchell (CMC) and Tyra Abraham (SC) will both run in the 100 meter dash, 200 meter dash, and 4x100 meter relay. (photo credit: Matthew Fenton)

CLAREMONT, Calif. – The No. 2 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's track and field team is sending seven different athletes to the 2018 NCAA DIII Track and Field National Championships this weekend in La Crosse, Wis. to compete for a shot at the program's first National Title. Tyra Abraham (SC) and Nirel JonesMitchell (CMC) both qualified for three events (100 meter dash, 200 meter dash, and 4x100 meter relay), while senior Emily Bassett (CMC) looks to continue a strong season in the throwing events (discus and hammer throws). A schedule for the weekend can be found here.

On the Track

Abraham is the fastest woman in Division III this year after clocking a time of 11.58 in her final 100 meter dash prior to the National Championships, a full two tenths of a second faster than the second-fastest time in the nation. Though the mark was wind-aided, Abraham still holds the fastest time in school history after clocking a time of 11.65 earlier this year. The four-time SCIAC Champion in the 100 meter, she will also see action in the 200 meter dash, currently seeded third in the field of 22 runners with a time of 24.32. Not a stranger to the big stage, Abraham was the 2016 National Champion in the 100 meter dash and fell just short of the podium in 2017.

Just behind Abraham in the sprints is sophomore JonesMitchell. Currently second in the CMS record books in both the 100 meter dash (12.10) and 200 meter dash (24.94), she is seeded fourth in the 100 meter event and 16th in the 200 meter.

Both sprinters will play a role on the 4x100 meter relay team, currently tied for the second-fastest time in the country at a mark of 47.05. The quartet of Becca Stewart (SC), Grace Pratt (CMC), JonesMitchell, and Abraham will run the race for CMS and are seeded second behind the team from George Fox. The Athenas set a new school record in the event this season, breaking the record in three-straight races with the fastest (46.48) coming at the SCIAC Championships.

Bryn McKillop (SC) will conclude her illustrious distance career with the 5000 meter run. The senior was the National Runner-Up at the NCAA DIII Cross Country National Championships in the fall, then finished the Indoor Track and Field Nationals Championship as the National Runner-Up in the 3000 meter run. McKillop competed in the 5000 meter run last year, finishing 15th. Her school record of 16:45.75 is the sixth-best in Division III this season.

Griffith will be making her first trip to the National Championships to compete in the 100 meter hurdles. Her time of 14.55 is the fourth-best in CMS history and puts her in the top-20 in the nation this year.

In the Field

Bassett is the lone Athena in the field events at the 2018 NCAA DIII Track and Field National Championship, and looks to continue to shine in the throws. After completing the third farthest hammer throw in Division III history, as well as shattering both the CMS and SCIAC record at 62.04 m (203'6"), the senior has the top mark in the nation. She leads all competitors coming into the weekend's competition by over three meters. In 2017, Bassett took second in the hammer throw. She also qualified in the discus after hitting a distance of 45.22m (148'4") at the Redlands Final Qualifier.