The 2017 NCAA Division III Track & Field Championships will be held this weekend, May 25-27, at SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio, with the University of Mount Union serving as the host institution.
The NCAC will once again be well represented at the national meet as 19 total student-athletes will be making the trip to northeast Ohio to compete in 16 different events, led by Oberlin junior Monique Newton (Sacramento, CA/Rancho Cordova) who has posted qualify marks in three different events.
Newton, who won the indoor national title in the women’s shot put, is set to compete in three different throwing events this weekend, ranking second in the nation in the shot put (14.85 M), 17th in the hammer (52.38 M) and 19th overall in the discus (45.24 M). She will be joined in the shot put competition by freshman teammate Naeisha McClain (Columbus, GA/Brookstone) with the nation’s 13th-best effort at 14.00 meters, while Denison junior Arlesha Cospy (Trotwood, OH/Trotwood-Madison) enters the meet ranked 11th in the discus at 46.24 meters.
The women’s high jump will feature a trio of NCAC student-athletes, highlighted by Ohio Wesleyan freshman Cirrus Robinson (Ashland, OH/Ohio) who captured the national title in the high jump at indoor nationals. Robinson ranks second in the field of 22 athletes with a qualifying mark of 1.75 meters, while Wooster sophomore Carolyn Webster (Fredericktown, OH/Fredericktown) and Denison junior Hannah Hall (New Richmond, OH/New Richmond) are tied for the fourth-best height in the country this season at 1.72 meters. In addition, a pair of Ohio Wesleyan juniors will compete in the women’s long jump, with Amanda Clay (Van Wert, OH/Van Wert) ranking 13th (5.83 M) and Emily Brown (New Concord, OH/John Glenn) ranking 17th overall at 5.77 meters.
Four female athletes will represent the conference in the running events at the national meet, led by Oberlin junior Lilah Drafts-Johnson (Melrose, MA/Melrose) with the nation’s seventh-best time this season in the 400-meter hurdles at 1:01.52. Ohio Wesleyan senior Sarah Fowler (Mount Vernon, OH/Fredericktown), who is making her third-straight appearance at the national meet, will be vying for her second-career All-American award in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with the eighth-fastest seed time in the country this season at 10:45.23.
The final two female athletes from the NCAC will be making their debut at the national meet, with Oberlin freshman Shannon Wargo (LaGrange, OH/Keystone) ranking 11th in the 1,500-meter run (4:32.86) and Allegheny sophomore Sarah Hevener (Hilliard, OH/Bradley) sitting 15th in the 10,000-meter run at 36:06.70.
On the men’s side, seven student-athletes from the NCAC have qualified to compete in seven different individual events, led by Allegheny senior Dan Cheung (Northbrook, IL/Glenbrook North) entering the meet with the nation’s sixth-fastest time to date in the 10,000-meter run at 29:53.8.
Ohio Wesleyan senior Brian Burnett (Hamilton, OH/Cincinnati Country Day) is the only other male athlete from the league to enter the meet with a top-10 seed position as he ranks eighth overall in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.59 seconds. A pair of Burnett’s teammates will enter the national meet with the 11th-best performance mark in their respective events, including senior Ifa Abduljelil (Whitehall, OH/Whitehall-Yearling) in the 110-meter hurdles (14.46) and junior Nate Newman (Chillicothe, OH/Zane Trace) in the decathlon (6,436 points).
Finally, Wittenberg junior Tyler Gittins (Westerville, OH/Columbus Academy) ranks 14th in the 400-meter hurdles (53.07), Allegheny junior Carter Smith (Cranberry Twp, PA/Eden Christian Academy) sits 18th in the 1,500-meter run (3:51.31) and Denison sophomore David Carter (New Albany, OH/Westminster, CT) ranks 19th overall in the triple jump with a combined distance of 14.63 meters.