Track & Field NCAA Championships preview

Track & Field NCAA Championships preview

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The NCAA announced the full field of qualifiers for the 2016 Division III Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championship in preparation for the event May 26-28. Thirteen athletes from the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps teams qualified: four men and nine women. The championships will be held at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa in the Walston-Hoover Stadium. Events will start at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 26 and 12:30 p.m. on May 27-28.

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This is one of the biggest groups of CMS athletes to compete in the National Championships. The women's team is currently ranked No. 5 by the US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on May 21 and was ranked as high as No. 3 (May 9).

Athletes qualified by performances during the season, with the top 20 performers for the men and the top 22 for the women advancing to the National Championships.  In the relays, the top 16 teams advanced in both genders. All-American status is awarded to those finishing top-8 in each event during the championships.

CMS has two returning athletes who earned All-American honors in 2015. Juniors Joshua Sealand (HMC) and Carmen Mejia (SCR) return to compete in the same events they medaled in last year. Sealand is the No. 9 seed at 3:47.34 in the 1500m and Mejia is the No. 6 seed with a time of 2:09.66. Sealand also earned a spot in the 5000m race for the second-consecutive year.

Sealand is joined by three fellow Stags: senior Evan Molineux (CMC) who competed in the meet last year, and first-time competitors sophomore Michael Wagenveld (CMC) and junior Cam Van (CMC). Molineux sits just behind Sealand as the No. 10 seed in the 1500m at 3:47.88, Wagneveld is tied at 5.00m for the No. 10 spot and Van ranks at No. 12 with a triple jump of 14.53m.

The nine Athenas will compete in ten events.  Sophomore Tyra Abraham (SCR) is top ranked in the 100m after a dominating 11.60 performance at last Thursday's Redlands Final Qualifying Meet and the No. 14 seed in the 200m race at 24.67. Abraham is the CMS record holder in both events. Sophomore Aiyanna Cameron-Lewis (CMC), senior Bridget Blum (CMC) and sophomore Bryn McKillop (SCR) will also compete in running events. Cameron-Lewis is the No. 7 seed in the 400m at 55.50, less than 0.6 seconds off the top seed. Blum will race in the 5000m for the second year in a row and is the No. 12 seed with a time of 16.53.75, significantly higher than the No. 21 seed she was ranked last year entering the championships. McKillop makes her first NCAA appearance and is the No. 7 seed in the 1500m at 4:29.92. Abraham and Cameron-Lewis are joined by freshman Sabrine Griffith (CMC) and junior Liz Lee (HMC) to compete in the 4x100m relay.

CMS is also represented by throwers junior Vaiva Palunas (SCR) and sophomore Emily Bassett (CMC). Palunas earned her second-consecutive SCIAC Women's Field Athlete of the Year award, was named the 2016 West Region Women's Field Athlete of the Year and is making her second NCAA appearance. She is seeded in the top-10 in each the shot put (14.09m) and the discus throw (48.15m) and additionally qualified for the hammer throw as the No. 12 seed at 53.93m. Bassett was the SCIAC champion by a significant margin in the hammer throw and is the No. 6 seed at the 55.58m mark.

Results will be posted here throughout the championships.

NCAA Release | Full List of Entries | Schedule of Events

By Emily Nordhoff
Sports Information Director

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