Six Jeffs Headed to Indoor National Championships

Contact: Matthew Hart


AMHERST, Mass. – Six members of the Amherst College indoor track and field teams will compete at this weekend’s Division III National Championship hosted by North Central College in Naperville, Ill. as the NCAA announced the meet’s qualifiers on Monday.

Naomi Bates ’14 and Keri Lambert ’14 will represent Amherst’s women’s team in individual events, competing in the long jump and 5000 meters, respectively, while Lauren Almeida ’13 and Amy Dao ’14 join the pair on the Jeffs’ sixth-seeded Distance Medley relay squad. Meanwhile, Pat Grimes ’13 and Matt Melton ’14 will compete in the men’s championship, having qualified in the mile and 800 meters, respectively.

Amherst’s school-record holder in the long jump, Bates enters the championship seeded 12th in the field of 15 thanks to her 5.58-meter performance at the Springfield College Invitational on Feb. 2. After competing in the 200 at last spring’s outdoor nationals, this will be Bates’ first championship appearance in the long jump.

Lambert, meanwhile, will be the eighth seed in the 5k after posting a time of 17:07.04 at Springfield. A two-time cross country All-American and the 2012 outdoor national champion in the steeplechase, Lambert competed in the 5k at last spring’s nationals, earning All-America with a seventh-place finish. The senior also holds the nation’s ninth-fastest mile of the indoor season but will not compete in the event.

For the second year in a row, Amherst’s Distance Medley Relay will line up against the nation’s top quartets in indoor track’s most creative event. Seeded sixth thanks to a school-record time of 11:47.00 at the NEICAAA Championships on Feb. 22, the squad will be eager to prove themselves after missing All-America honors by one place as it finished ninth at the 2012 indoor championships. Almeida and Bates will begin the exciting race with the 1200- and 400-meter legs, respectively, before the group’s lone newcomer, Dao, completes the 800-meter portion and Lambert anchors the team in the mile.

Meanwhile, on the men’s side, Grimes enters the national meet as Amherst’s top-ranked competitor after his impressive mile time of 4:11.72 at Saturday’s Tufts Last Chance Meet earned him the fourth seed for the event. The senior qualified for outdoor nationals in the 1500 meters last spring but will compete for the first time at the indoor championship this weekend.

Melton will be making his first overall appearance at a national meet as the 10th seed in the 800 thanks to a time of 1:53.27 at last weekend’s Last Chance Meet. A two-time All-NESCAC outdoor performer in the 400 meters, the junior will look to continue his impressive winter in the half mile.

Links to live coverage of this weekend’s meet will be posted below as soon as they become available.

2013 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships
Friday-Saturday, Mar. 8-9
Hosted by North Central College, Naperville, Ill.


Schedule of Amherst Events:
Friday, Mar. 8:
11 a.m. -- Women's Long Jump (Finals)
3:55 p.m. -- Men's Mile (Prelims)
5:50 p.m. -- Men's 800m (Prelims)
6 p.m. -- Women's DMR (Finals)

Saturday, Mar. 9:
1:30 p.m. -- Men's Mile (Finals)
3:00 p.m. -- Men's 800m (Finals)
3:40 p.m. -- Women's 5000m (Finals)