The 2018 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships concluded on Saturday (5/26) at The Roger Harring Stadium at Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex on the campus of UW-La Crosse in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Following the three days of competition, three NCAC student-athletes earned national titles in individual events and six additional athletes earned top-eight All-American finishes in their respective events.
Two Oberlin female athletes capped off their tremendous track & field careers with national title performances in Wisconsin. Senior thrower Monique Newton (Sacramento, CA/Rancho Cordova) captured the first gold medal on Thursday in the women's discus with a school-record heave of 164'06.00", besting her own previous school-record by four-feet, three-inches. At the time of her winning effort she remained the only female athlete in school history to win a national title after also claiming the top prize in the shot put competition at the 2017 NCAA Indoor Championships. However, Newton's distinction would be short lived as classmate Lilah Drafts-Johnson (Melrose, MA/Melrose) joined Newton as a national champion on Saturday with a winning and school-record time of 59.34 in the women's 400-meter hurdles. Newton also capped off her weekend in Wisconsin with a second-place showing in the shot put with a toss of 48'06.00".
Ohio Wesleyan sophomore Cirrus Robinson (Ashland, OH/Ashland) won the national title in the women's high jump competition after clearing 5'08.50" on her third and final attempt. Robinson, who finished third overall in the high jump competition at the national meet last year, is now a three-time national champion after winning back-to-back titles in the high jump at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Denison senior Arlesha Cospy (Trotwood, OH/Trotwood-Madison) was the final NCAC female athlete to earn a top-eight All-American award in Wisconsin as she joined Newton on podium in the discus competition by finishing fourth overall with a heave of 152'08.00". Cospy's award marks the 20th All-American showing in Denison women's track & field history.
On the men's side, four of the six NCAC athletes that competed over the three-day event earned All-American awards in their respective events, led by DePauw senior Polo Burguete (El Paso, TX/Culver Academy) finishing second in the finals of the 3,000 Steeplechase with a time of 9:08.37. The runner-up finish was the best in a running event by any DePauw male at the national championships and the all-America finish was the first by a DePauw runner in the steeplechase since Simon Flory finished eighth in 2004.
Two NCAC male athletes posted fourth-place finishes in individual events, including DePauw freshman Samuel Voelz (New Palestine, IN/New Palestine) in the 800-meter run (1:51.22) and Ohio Wesleyan senior Nate Newman (Chillicote, OH/Zane Trace) in the men's decathlon with 6,708 total points. Voelz became the first DePauw men's runner to earn All-America honors in the 800-meter run, while Newman earned top-eight honors in the decathlon for the second year in a row after finishing eighth overall in 2017.
Wabash sophomore RaShawn Jones (Indianapolis, IN/Lawrence Central) picked up the final All-American award for an NCAC athlete after finishing fifth overall in the championship heat of the men's 110-hurdles with a career-best time of 14.30 seconds. Jones was competing at the championship meet for the first time in his career. He is the first Wabash runner to earn All-America honors in the outdoor hurdles since Emmanuel Aouad placed seventh in the 110-meter event at the 2010 NCAA meet.
Eight additional NCAC student-athletes also competed at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Championships, including the men's duo of Wittenberg senior Tyler Gittins (Westerville, OH/Columbus Academy) in the 400-hurdles and Ohio Wesleyan freshman Cade Richeson (Worthington, OH/Thomas Worthington) in the shot put. Richeson just missed out on an All-American award in the shot put, finishing ninth overall with a toss of 53'00.75", while Gittins posted a time of 54.70 in the prelims on Thursday afternoon.
On the women's side, Oberlin senior Ana Richardson (Eugene, OR/South Eugene) led the remaining six atheltes by finishing 12th overall in the discus competition with a heave of 141'07.00". Denison senior Hannah Hall (New Richmond, OH/New Richmond) finished 13th in the women's high jump after clearing 5'05.00", while Ohio Wesleyan sophomore Megan Sievers (Strongsville, OH/Strongsville) finished 15th in the women's long jump with a distance of 17'11.75". Allegheny senior Olivia Mamula (Cambridge Springs, PA/Cambridge) also logged the 15th-best time in the prelims of the 3,000 Steeplechase at 10:59.98.
Wooster senior Carolyn Webster (Fredericktown, OH/Fredericktown) finished 19th in the women's high jump after clearing 5'03.75", while Allegheny junior Emily Forner (Beaver, PA/Beaver Area) finished 20th overall in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 18:41.68.