Five Amherst Winter Teams Continue Runs at National Championships This Weekend

Senior Heather Wilson will be competing in the 5000-meter Run at this weekend's NCAA Championships. 

AMHERST, MA - Five Amherst College winter teams are still going strong in their respective seasons and will be competing in NCAA tournaments and championships this weekend. While select members of the women's swimming and diving team and women's indoor track and field team will be competing at the national championships in Ohio, the women's ice hockey team begins its stint in the 2008 NCAA Tournament by hosting a quarterfinal game on Saturday. Both Amherst basketball teams head out to continue their respective runs at national titles, with each squad returning to action Friday night. 

Indoor Track and Field (@ Ohio Northern University – Ada, OH)
Senior tri-captain Heather Wilson (Danvers, MA) and junior Elise Tropiano (Plainview, NY) will represent Amherst College at the 2008 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships at Ohio Northern University. Both Wilson and Tropiano will be competing in the 5000-meter Run, which will take place Saturday, Mar. 15 as one of the final events of the weekend. Information regarding ticket sales, event times, and a live Webcast is available at the official 2008 NCAA Championship Website. NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP INFORMATION

To close out the weekend in last year’s national championships, Wilson and Tropiano were within one second of each other and with the front of the pack after the first mile of the 5000-meter Run, but things started to spread out during the second mile. Tropiano picked up her first ever All-America nod by setting a personal record in seventh place with a time of 17:09.45, while Wilson held on for the final All-America spot in eighth place with a time of 17:19.25. Amherst finished tied for seventh place with North Central, having racked up 23 points for the weekend while meeting all of its team goals.

Women’s Swimming and Diving (@ Miami University – Oxford, OH)
The Amherst College women’s swimming and diving team posted a perfect 8-0 dual meet record for the second consecutive season and features enough talent to make another run at a national title, as last year’s Lord Jeff squad placed second at the NCAA Championships behind 21-time national champion Kenyon College. Amherst heads to Miami University with competition beginning Thursday, Mar. 13 and concluding Saturday, Mar. 15. Information regarding ticket sales, meet results and more can be found at the official NCAA Championship Website. NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP INFORMATION

The Amherst women's ice hockey team earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament by successfully defending its NESCAC crown. 

Senior Brittany Sasser (Belmont, MA) was named Swimmer of the Meet at last year’s NCAA Championships after winning the 100- and 200-yard Backstroke events with national record times as well as contributing to a national record in the 800-yard Freestyle Relay. Amherst coach Nick Nichols was named Coach of the Meet for the second year in a row after the improvement from fourth to second place. Over the course of the weekend, the women rewrote the Amherst record books with nine individual records and all five relay records. In addition to Sasser’s return to the national stage, the Jeffs will look to get valuable points from first-year sensation Kendra Stern (Albuquerque, NM), who was named Swimmer of the Meet at the 2008 NESCAC Championships.

Women’s Ice Hockey (@ Amherst College – Amherst, MA)
Last year’s Amherst College women’s ice hockey team finished with a 20-7-3 record and by far had the best season in program history, but this year’s squad is just one win away from setting a new program record for wins and advancing to the national semifinals for the second consecutive season. The Lord Jeffs are arguably the hottest team in the national tournament, as they are riding the longest unbeaten streak in Division III women’s hockey at 17 games. Amherst successfully defended its conference crown this past weekend with wins over Trinity and Colby in the semifinals and finals, respectively, to earn an automatic bid from the NCAA.

Third-ranked Amherst (20-3-4) will face fourth-ranked Elmira College (21-5-1) for the second time this season Saturday at 3 p.m. in Orr Rink. In the first meeting between these teams, the Jeffs earned a 3-2 win on the road in the midst of their current unbeaten streak. Last year the Jeffs defeated RIT in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament to advance to the national semifinals, where they fell to eventual national champion Plattsburgh State, 3-2. Tickets for Saturday’s game are $5 for adults and $3 for students, senior citizens and children, and will be available at Orr Rink with doors opening at 1:30 p.m. A live Webcast of Saturday's game will be made available, as well as an audio only broadcast. LIVE WEBCAST * LIVE AUDIO BROADCAST 

Andrew Olson has been named MVP of the NCAA Sectionals in each of the past two years. 

Men’s Basketball (@ SUNY Plattsburgh – Plattsburgh, NY)
The third-ranked Amherst College men’s basketball team advanced to the sectional round of the NCAA Tournament for the seventh consecutive year, having earned a first-round bye before defeating John Jay College at home in the second round, 96-74. The Lord Jeffs had hosted the sectionals in each of the past three years but will head to Plattsburgh State University to take on Richard Stockton College Friday at 5:30 p.m. Should Amherst advance, the Jeffs would face either Brandeis University or the host Cardinals Saturday at 7 p.m. Amherst is attempting to become just the fourth school to win back-to-back NCAA Division III men’s basketball titles, as the Lord Jeffs took home the third national championship in school history with an 80-67 win over defending national champion Virginia Wesleyan.

Fans can reserve tickets for this weekend’s games by calling the Amherst College Athletics Office at 413-542-2274. Tickets are $7 for adults and $4 for students, senior citizens and children, and can be purchased only at the site of competition. Doors will open for spectators 90 minutes prior to tip off on game days. A live audio broadcast will be available courtesy of FULL TOURNAMENT BRACKET * LIVE AUDIO BROADCAST

Women’s Basketball (@ University of Wisconsin-Whitewater – Whitewater, WI)
The 14th-ranked Amherst College women’s basketball team has already won the program’s first NESCAC title to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever, as the Lord Jeffs will bring a 27-2 overall record to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater this Friday. Simply advancing to the national tournament was not enough for first-year head coach G.P. Gromacki and his team, as the Jeffs defeated Becker College in the first round before knocking off Bowdoin College in the second round the next day. Amherst faces a challenging road ahead in defending national champion DePauw University (27-3), but the Jeffs bring the NESCAC’s best scoring offense (74.0 ppg) and field goal percentage (.457) to the court.

Tickets for this weekend’s games can be purchased over the phone through the William Center Ticket Office (262-472-2222) Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets will also be available at the site of competition and will be $7 for adults and $4 for students, senior citizens and children, with doors opening 90 minutes prior to tip off on game days. Live statistics of all games will be available courtesy of UW-Whitewater, with a live audio broadcast of the Amherst-DePauw game also available. FULL TOURNAMENT BRACKET * LIVE STATISTICS * LIVE AUDIO BROADCAST