Meet Preview

For the first time in its 38-year history, the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be contested on the West Coast.  The meet is slated for Thursday-Saturday, May 24-26 at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps’ Burns Track & Field Complex.  The meet has only been held west of the Mississippi River three times previously, twice in Minnesota and once in Iowa, and Claremont will be the furthest west it has been held by almost 1500 miles.

Women’s Preview

Athletes from 142 teams will contend for titles in 19 individual events and two relays and the prohibitive favorite in the team competition will be Wartburg College.  The Knights have 27 individual entries, 11 more than the next closest school, with 17 entries ranked in the top five and the top mark in seven events.  Wartburg won the 2012 indoor title in dominant fashion and will look to add another outdoor crown to go with their 2009 and 2005 titles.  Defending champion Wisconsin-Oshkosh should be among the main contenders along with 2010 champion Illinois Wesleyan University, Washington University in St. Louis, Williams College and Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Nine individual champions return to defend their 2011 titles including Ashlynn Chavis of Methodist University in the 100 meters and long jump, Nevada Morrison of Wartburg College in the 400 meters, Keelie Finnel of Coe College in the 800 meters, Christy Cazzola of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in the 1500 meters,  Elizabeth Evans of Rose-Hulman Institute in the high jump, Abigail Schaffer of Moravian College in the pole vault, Tanasia Hoffler of Williams College in the triple jump and Breanna Strupp of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in the discus.  In addition, Methodist College and Wartburg College return to defend their respective 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relay titles.

There are nine women who will compete in three or more individual events.  Three of those nine have marks ranked in the top five in three or more events.  Skye Morrison of Wartburg has the top mark in the long jump, the second best mark in the triple jump and 400 meters and the fifth best mark in the 200 meters (in addition to being on the top ranked 4x100 and 4x400 relays).  Melissa Norville of Illinois College has the top mark in the 100 hurdles and triple jump and second best mark in the long jump.  Tiarra Goode of Birmingham-Southern College has the second best mark in the 200 meters and 100 hurdles and fifth best in the 100 meters. 

100: Chavis is the top seed (11.83) as well as the defending champion and also won this year’s 60 meter indoor title.

200: N. Morrison is the top returner from last year (2nd) and is the top seed (23.84).

400: N. Morrison is the top seed (53.58) as well as the defending champion and also won this year’s indoor title.

800: Carmen Graves of Roanoke College (2:07.32) is the top seed.  Defending champ Finnel is seeded fifth and indoor champ Cazzola is seeded second.

1500: Margo Carmer of Middlebury College is the top seed (4:21.45) while defending champ Cazzola is seeded tenth.  Cazzola also won the indoor title in the mile.

5000: Laura Sigmund of Wartburg is the top seed (16:20.80) and won the indoor title.  Jodi Hoekstra of Calvin College is the lone returner from last year’s field.

10000: Alana Enabnit of Wartburg is the top seed (35:03.17).  Simone Childs-Walker of Carleton is the top returner (4th) from last year.

100 Hurdles: Norville is the top seed (13.84).  Portia Jones of MIT is the top returner (2nd).  Goode won the indoor 60 hurdle title.

400 Hurdles: Last year’s runner-up, Heather Gearity of Montclair State University is the top returner and top seed (59.73).

3000 Steeple: Keri Lambert of Amherst College is the top seed (10:19.37).  Marissa Liberati of Geneseo State is the top returner (4th).

4 x 100: Methodist is the defending champion and seeded second.  Wartburg is the top seed (46.31)

4 x 400: Warburg is the defending champion and top seed (3:38.85 [national record]).  They return all four runners from last year's team.

High Jump: Evans is the defending champ, indoor champ and the top seed (5-9.75).

Pole Vault: Schaffer is the defending champ and top seed (13-10 [national record]) and Catherine Street of Linfield College won the indoor title.

Long Jump: Chavis, the defending champ, is seeded third.  Skye Morrison of Wartburg is the top seed (21-3.5 [national record]) and the indoor champ.

Triple Jump: Hoffler, the defending champ, is seeded fifth.  Norville is the top seed (42-1.25) and the indoor champ.

Shot Put: Chelsea Tavik of Salisbury University is the top returner (3rd), the indoor champ and seeded second.  Strupp is seeded first (49-0.25).

Discus: Strupp is the defending champ and the top seed (164-3).

Hammer: Alexia Child of Wisconsin-Oshkosh is the top returner (4th) and top seed (193-6).  Child also won the indoor title in the weight throw.

Javelin: Amanda Trieloff of Carroll College is seeded first (148-8).  Bailey Soucie of Nebraska Wesleyan University is the top returner (6th).

Heptathlon: Emma Dewart of Ithaca College is the top returner (2nd) and top seed (5006).  Dewart also won the indoor title in the pentathlon.

Men’s Preview

Athletes from 136 teams will contend for titles in 19 individual events and two relays and among the favorites in the team competition will be four schools that have won the last five titles.  The Cardinals of North Central have swept the indoor and outdoor titles in each of the last two years and will try to make it three in a row after winning the 2012 indoor championship.  2008 champion McMurry University look to be the strongest challenger as eight of their 16 entries are seeded first or second overall.  Wisconsin-La Crosse has the most entries on the men’s side (20) and will look to add to their record 11 outdoor titles.  Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Wisconsin-Whitewater are the other programs with more than 10 entries.

Eight individual champions return to defend their 2011 titles including Kevin Cunningham of McMurry University in the 400 hurdles, Jonas Elusme of Wartburg College in the high jump, Peter Geraghty of North Central College in the pole vault, Paul Turner of University of La Verne in the long jump, Isaac Vazquez of Wisconsin-La Crosse in the triple jump, Carter Comito of Whitworth University in the discus throw, Gary Zack of Moravian College in the javelin and Ethan Miller of Central College in the decathlon.  In addition, McMurry University is the defending champion in the 4 x 100 relay.

There are three men (Mitchell Suppan of Baldwin-Wallace College, David Pless of Bates College and Tom Postema of Defiance College) who will compete in three individual events with all three competing in the shot put, discus and hammer.  Among the many athletes who will compete in two events, there are 16 who are ranked in the top eight in both events.  Of those 16, three athletes are ranked in the top two in two events.  Cunningham is ranked first in both the 400 meters and 400 hurdles.  Kenneth Turner of McMurry University is ranked first in the 100 meters and second in the 200 meters.  Thurgood Dennis of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is ranked first in the 200 meters and second in the 100 meters.

100: Turner is the top seed (10.52) and top returner from last year (2nd).  Dominique Kone of Colby College won the 60 meter indoor title and is seeded third.

200: Dennis is the top seed (21.11) while Marcus Fortugno of University of La Verne is the top returner (3rd) and seeded sixth.

400: Cunningham is the top seed (47.33).  Fortugno is top returner (2nd) and seeded second.

800: Jake Waterman of Wabash College is the top seed (1:48.64).  Ben Scheetz of Amherst College is the top returner (2nd) and seeded sixth.  Second seeded Mike Hutton of University of St. Thomas won the indoor title.

1500: Chris Brown of Brandeis University (3:43.39) is top seeded while Dan Sullivan of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is the top returner (2nd) and seeded fourth.  Kevin McCarthy of Wabash won the indoor title in the mile and is seede third.

5000: Indoor champ Tim Nelson of Wisconsin-Stout is the top seed (13:57.02).  Thomas Breitbach of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is the top returner (2nd) and seeded third.

10000: Michael Schmidt of Middlebury College is the top seed (29:23.62).  Breitbach is the top returner (2nd) and seeded seventh.

110 Hurdles: Junior Saint Preux of McMurry University is the top seed (14.00).  Tyler Jackson of Washington University in St. Louis is the top returner (5th), won the indoor 60 hurdle title and is seeded third.

400 Hurdles: Defending champ Cunningham is the top seed (51.02).

3000 Steeple: Jack Davies of Middlebury is the top seed (8:56.41).  Nick Kramer of Calvin College is the top returner (3rd) and seeded fourth.

4 x 100: McMurry University is the defending champion and seeded second.  Wisconsin-Whitewater is the top seed (40.85).

4 x 400: Wisconsin-Eau Claire has the top mark (3:10.75).  McMurry is the highest returning team from last year (2nd).

High Jump: Elusme is the defending champ and is seeded seventh.  Christian Patterson of Wilmington College and Richard Roethel of Christopher Newport University share the top seed (6-11).

Pole Vault: Geraghty, the defending champ, is tied for the third seed.  Daniel Drewek of Wisconsin-Stout is seeded first (17-5).

Long Jump: Defending champ Turner is seeded 12th.  Elusme is seeded first (25-3.5) and also won the indoor title.

Triple Jump: Defending champ Vazquez is seeded fourth.  Turner is the top seed (50-9.5).  Mike Sandle of Wisconsin-River Falls won the indoor title.

Shot Put: Andy Novak is the top returner (2nd) and seeded second, Paul Davis of McMurry is seeded first (62-8.5) and Pless won the indoor title and is seeded fourth.

Discus: Comito is the defending champ and the top seed (194-5).

Hammer: Pete Delzer of Wisconsin-Oshkosh is the top seed (206-5).  Brennan McKeag of Hamline University is the top returner (8th).  Tyler Genovese of Wisconsin-Eau Claire won the indoor title in the weight throw and is seeded fourth.

Javelin: Defending champ Zack is the top seed (226-6).

Heptathlon: Defending champ Miller is the top seed (7076).  Roethel won the indoor heptathlon title and is seeded second.