NATIONAL CHAMPION: Abraham leads Athenas to fifth place at NCAA Championships

NATIONAL CHAMPION: Abraham leads Athenas to fifth place at NCAA Championships

WAVERLY, Ia. – The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's  team came in fifth place at the NCAA Division III Track & Field Championships for the highest finish program history at 33 points. During the day, CMS totaled six All-American performances including a national championship in the women's 100m dash by sophomore Tyra Abraham (SCR).

The previous highest team finish by the women was seventh place in 1998. This also bests the highest finish by either the men's or women's team as the men's highest finish was in sixth place.

Abraham won the first national championship in the women's 100m in CMS history. She is only the second woman to earn All-American honors in the 100m dash, and first since 1986. She came into the championships as the top-seed, led the field in the preliminaries, and then won the gold medal at 12.10 into a headwind rated -1.7 to win by just 0.01 over Nia Joiner from Illinois Wesleyan.

Later in the day, Abraham added to her All-American honors with a third place finish in the women's 200m dash with a time of 24.85 in another severe headwind rated -1.8.

Sophomore Emily Bassett (CMC) earned All-American honors in the women's hammer throw finishing fourth at 56.09m (184-04). Her longest throw came on her last attempt for a personal record and new CMS record. Bassett became the third woman in CMS history, and first since 2004, to earn All-American honors in the hammer. The five points Bassett earned were the first of the weekend for the CMS women's team in the championships. Teammate junior Vaiva Palunas (SCR) also competed in the event but three faults in a row kept her out of national contention.

In the other field event of the day for CMS, junior Cam Van (CMC) placed tenth in the men's triple jump at 14.45m (47-05), just missing the cutoff for the top-9 that continued with three more jumps.

In the men's 1500, junior Josh Sealand (HMC) trailed the pack for the first two laps and then quickly transitioned up to the front with 800 to go. Sealand pushed the pace for the entire third lap but was ultimately overtaken by a trio of runners from St. Olaf to finish in seventh at 3:50.96 for his second-consecutive All-American honor in the men's 1500m race. Later in the day, Sealand also competed in the men's 5000m race. On the heels of his performance in the 1500, he could not hang with the leaders in the 5000m and finished in 15th at 15:19.58.

Sophomore Aiyanna Cameron-Lewis (CMC) earned her first All-American honor in the women's 400m race, posting a 55.56 for a fifth place finish. The national champion, Hulerie McGuffie, not only set the stadium record but also ran the second fastest time in NCAA Division III history at 53.55. Cameron-Lewis' fifth place finish earned four more points for the CMS women's team.

Junior Carmen Mejia (SCR) earned another second place finish and All-American honor in the women's 800m with a time of 2:09.66, tying her season best in 2016. She entered the championships as the sixth seed then edged out two of runners that finished in front of her in the preliminaries. Mejia improved on her time in the prelims by 0.21 seconds. The ultimate national champion, Emily Richards of Ohio Northern, posted a time of 2:05.88, just 0.65 off the top time in NCAA DIII history.

In the final event that CMS competed in at the Division III NCAA Track & Field Championships, senior Bridget Blum (CMC) placed 11th in the women's 5000m with a time of 17:19.70 under a slight drizzle

The Athenas improved on their 17th place finish in 2015 when they scored 14 points.

Full Results

By Emily Nordhoff
Sports Information Director

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