Lord Jeffs Prepare for NCAA Indoor Championships
AMHERST, MA – Amherst College will send seven student-athletes to this weekend’s NCAA Division III Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track and Field Championships. A total of 446 participants will compete in the two-day event, which begins Friday, Mar. 13, at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.
Representing the Amherst women’s team and competing in the 1-mile run will be sophomore Melissa Sullivan (Dallas, TX). Junior Will Yochum (Goleta, CA) will run the mile event on the men’s side, while senior Dan Murner (Crestwood, KY) will compete in the 5,000-meter run. Teaming up in the men’s distance medley will be Jimmy Swanson ’10 (New Orleans, LA), Steve Corsello ’11 (Skaneateles, NY), Tommy Moore ’11 (Marlborough, MA) and Ben Scheetz ’12 (Lancaster, PA).
Sullivan will look to become the fourth Amherst woman to win a national title at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Nicole Campbell ’00 won the triple jump as a senior, while Carter Hamill ’05 was a three-time national champion in the 5k (2002, 2004, 2005). Last year, Elise Tropiano ’09 returned the 5k title to Amherst by winning with a time of 16:58.84.
Sullivan won the mile event at Brandeis University’s 2010 Reggie Poyau Memorial Invitational (5:08.08), but it was her impressive performance at the Open New England Championships during the final weekend in February that earned her a spot in the national championships. Sullivan’s provisional qualifying time of 4:58.02 was tops among Division III runners at the meet and was the sixth fastest overall.
Yochum won the 1-mile run at the 2010 Smith College Tartan Invitational with a provisional qualifying time of 4:13.79, which he bested at the Open New England Championships with an automatic qualifying mark of 4:09.41. Yochum will contend for a national title as one of this weekend's top five qualifiers. Robert Mitchell ’99 is the only runner in men’s program history to win an NCAA title, as he was crowned national champion in the 800-meter run as a junior and in the 1,500-meter run as a senior.
Shortly after Yochum competes in the mile on Friday, the distance medley relay team will look to improve upon the seventh-place finish it earned at the 2009 national championships. Returning from last year’s squad are Moore and Swanson, while Scheetz returns to the lineup after having to miss out on last year’s national meet due to injury. The four Lord Jeffs teamed up to place third in the DMR at the Open New England Championships with a time of 9:56.73, which led all Division III schools in the meet and was good enough for an NCAA automatic qualifying performance.
Wrapping up Amherst’s weekend will be Murner, who enters Saturday’s race as the top qualifier in the 5k. Murner won the 5k at the Boston Indoor Games (14:52.37) before automatically qualifying for the national championships at the Valentine Classic, with his 14:24.22 leading a field of 97 runners. Murner continued to shine at the Division III New England Championships, winning the 5k in 15:14.35.
For more information on the national championships, including links to photos, videos, participants and results, visit the official NCAA Championship website.
Friday, Mar. 12
4 p.m. – Men’s 1-Mile Run
4:20 p.m. – Women’s 1-Mile Run
6:05 p.m. – Men’s Distance Medley
Saturday, Mar. 13
3:55 p.m. – Men’s 5,000-Meter Run