Abraham, Bassett, and McKillop Win Individual Titles, CMS Places Fourth at NCAA DIII National Championships

CMS women's track and field placed fourth at the NCAA DIII National Championships. (photo credit: Chris Spells)
CMS women's track and field placed fourth at the NCAA DIII National Championships. (photo credit: Chris Spells)

LA CROSSE, WIS. – Led by a trio of seniors, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's track and field team made history at the 2018 NCAA DIII Track and Field National Championships. The Athenas earned the highest team finish in program history, placing fourth with 36 points, and won three individual titles along the way. Tyra Abraham (SC) started the day by winning the 100 meter dash National Title (11.87) for the second time in her career. Emily Bassett (CMC) continued the winning trend with a huge victory in the hammer throw (62.51m). Bryn McKillop (SC) finished the day for CMS as the National Champion in the 5000 meter run (16:36.17). Both Bassett and McKillop set new school records in their events. The three individual titles are the most won by CMS in a single NCAA Championship.

Day Three: Saturday, May 26

Abraham sprinted to her second National Title in the 100 meter dash, winning by a full tenth of a second (11.87). She defeated Emory's Dani Bland for the Title. Coming in as the top seeded runner in the nation, Abraham clocked the fastest time in the prelims by three tenths of a second (12.05). Later in the day, she placed fourth in the 200 meter dash, finishing the event with a time of 24.86. She finishes her career as the fastest woman in CMS history with the top times in the 100 meter dash (11.65) and the 200 meter dash (24.36).

In a dominant performance in the field, Bassett concluded a stellar career as the National Champion in the hammer throw. Earlier in the season, the senior shattered the CMS and SCIAC record in the event with a mark of 62.04, the third farthest in DIII history. In today's Championship, she improved upon this mark, throwing for a distance of 62.51m (205'1") in her third attempt of the day to earn her first National Title. Bassett could've won the event with her second attempt alone, hitting a mark of 60.29m (197'1"). Her fourth attempt was even better at 60.71m (199'2.25"). She won convincingly, besting Mia Bennett from Carthage by almost three meters.

After two National Runner-Up finishes this season (cross country and 3000 meter indoor) McKillop was named the NCAA National Champion in the 5000 meter run.  She set a new CMS record with a time of 16:36.17, finishing over three seconds ahead of Pomona-Pitzer's Helen Guo. McKillop sat in second for the majority of the race in a pack of four runners to lead the field. Ithaca's Taryn Cordani led the group until McKillop made her move to the front in the 11th lap. In the 12th, she was neck-and-neck with Guo before pushing herself to create a large gap in the final stretch. McKillop ran her final lap in 1:09.39 to win by over three seconds.

The CMS 4x100 meter relay team finished eighth in the National Final with a mark of 48.23.

The Athenas finished the 2018 NCAA DIII Track and Field National Championships with 36 points, earning fourth-place behind Washington University-St. Louis. George Fox and UMass-Boston tied for National Title with 44 points each.

Day Two: Friday, May 25

Tyra Abraham (SC) set the bar high in the 100 meter dash prelim, clocking the fastest time in the field at 12.05. She was three tenths of a second faster than the next-best finisher from Birmingham-Southern. Nirel JonesMitchell (CMC) also ran in the event but did not qualify for the final (12.70). Abraham will have her shot at her second National Title in the 100 meter dash, having won in 2016, on Saturday at 11:40 a.m.

Sabrine Griffith (CMC) ran the first event of the day for the Athenas, competing in the 100 meter hurdles. She placed 19th in the event with a time of 15.27.

Day One: Thursday, May 24

The No. 2 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's track and field team began their weekend at the 2018 NCAA DIII Track and Field National Championships on Thursday and sent Athenas into three different events. Tyra Abraham (SC) advanced to the finals of 200 meter dash after winning her heat (24.72), and the 4x100 meter relay team qualified for Saturday's final with their time of 47.12.

Abraham won her heat of the 200 meter dash prelims, crossing the finish line in 24.72. She earned an automatic qualification into the final race on Saturday. Nirel JonesMitchell (CMC) ran a stong race (25.31), but fell less than a tenth of a second short of qualifying.

The 4x100 meter relay team of Sabrine Griffith (CMC), Grace Pratt (CMC), JoneMitchell (CMC), and Tyra Abraham (SC) raced their way into the National Finals in the event. The team raced an uncharacteristic 47.12 to finish the prelims in sixth, but advance to race for the National Title on Saturday.

Emily Bassett took part in her first event of the weekend and took 19th in the discus throw (40.37m, 132'5"). She will have another shot at a Title on Saturday in the hammer throw.

On Friday, Abraham and JonesMitchell will take to the track for the 100 meter dash prelims. Griffith will also see action in the 100 meter hurdle prelims. The full schedule for the weekend can be found here.