Jeffs Wrap up Day One at NCAA Championships

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COLUMBUS, OH – Three members of the Amherst College indoor track and field program qualified for Saturday’s finals thanks to excelling in Friday’s preliminary heats at the NCAA Division III Championships. The Lord Jeffs will close out their season by competing in six of Saturday’s events at Capital University.

As the only competitor to attempt both the 400-meter dash and 800-meter run at this weekend’s championship meet, Amherst’s Ben Scheetz ’12 (Lancaster, PA) proved he was up for the challenge by qualifying for Saturday’s finals in each event. Scheetz ran Friday’s 400 in 48.86 seconds to win Heat 1 (third overall), while his 1:54.35 in the 800 was good enough for second place in the first heat (seventh overall). Saturday’s 400 will take place at 5:45 p.m., followed by the 800 at 6:30 p.m.

Will Yochum ’11 (Goleta, CA) grabbed the final qualifying spot in the mile run by finishing the race in 4:17.62, which was good enough for fourth place in Heat 2 and 10th overall. Steve Corsello ’11 (Skaneateles, NY) entered the weekend as the fifth seed in the mile, but his 4:18.35 on Friday was not fast enough to qualify for Saturday’s finals. Yochum will compete for a national title Saturday at 4:55 p.m.

Before Yochum races in the men’s mile run, Melissa Sullivan ’12 (Dallas, TX) will try her hand in the women’s finals. Sullivan was the 10th seed in the mile, but she ran a 4:58.44 on Friday to capture the fourth best time of the evening. Saturday’s women’s mile run is set to begin at 4:45 p.m.

The Lord Jeffs’ distance medley relay team placed seventh at the 2009 NCAA Championships and finished fifth a year ago, but Amherst would round out Friday’s group in 10th despite entering the weekend as the national record holder in the event. Corsello and Yochum joined Matt Melton ’14 (Wall, NJ) and Patrick Grimes ’13 (Mansfield, MA) to complete the relay in 10:45.25, nearly a minute behind the 9:49.11 that set a Division III record earlier in the season.

Also competing for Amherst on Saturday will be Ali Simeone ’13 (Stoneham, MA), who will begin her quest for a national title in the 5,000-meter run at 6:40 p.m. One hour later, the Amherst men will compete in the 4x400-meter relay. Live results and video will be available at the Capital University championship website.

2011 NCAA Division III Indoor Championships
Saturday, Mar. 12 - Amherst Schedule of Events
4:45 p.m. --- Women's 1 Mile Run (Finals) --- Melissa Sullivan '12
4:55 p.m. --- Men's 1 Mile Run (Finals) --- Will Yochum '11
5:45 p.m. --- Men's 400-Meter Dash (Finals) --- Ben Scheetz '12
6:30 p.m. --- Men's 800-Meter Run (Finals) --- Ben Scheetz '12
6:40 p.m. --- Women's 5,000-Meter Run (Finals) --- Ali Simeone '13
7:40 p.m. --- Men's 4x400-Meter Relay (Finals) --- TBD