Outstanding Performers of 2017 NCAA DIII Indoor Championships
By Tyler Mayforth, USTFCCCA
March 16, 2017
NEW ORLEANS – Division records, meet records and Res Rec Center facility records were no match for the Outstanding Performers of the Meet at the 2017 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships this past weekend in Naperville, Illinois.
Between Bridgewater (Va.)’s Amber Celen, UW-Stevens Point’s Jerry Williams and the SUNY Geneseo duo of Isaac Garcia-Cassani and Alexa Wandy, five records were set over the span of two days – one all-time NCAA DIII mark, two meet records and two facility records. That quartet also scored a total of 70 points for their teams in their respective events and that all added up to them being named Outstanding Athletes of the Meet by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Thursday.
Each year the USTFCCCA honors the Outstanding Performers of the Meet at both of the national Division III championships. Winners are determined using a formula that takes into account team points scored, plus meet records (five additional points), Division III season bests based on the converted qualifying lists (three points) and facility records (one point). Relay points, if applicable, are split equally between the four team members.
Celen, the Outstanding Female Track Athlete of the Meet, starred under the bright lights.
The junior from Townsend, Delaware, left her mark as she became the 3rd woman in NCAA DIII history to win the 60 and 200 at the same indoor meet. Celen cruised to the 60-meter title with a time of 7.54 that stands as the 4th best mark in NCAA DIII history and the top mark all season. Then Celen turned her attention to the 200, where she broke a division, meet and facility record with her effort of 24.15.
Garcia-Cassani, the Outstanding Male Track Athlete of the Meet, continued his strong year that he started during the cross country season.
The junior from Holbrook, New York, entered the meet ranked 2nd in the mile and left with the event title under his arm. Garcia-Cassani posted a season-best time of 4:07.77 to beat St. Olaf’s Joe Coffey to the line by a half-second. Earlier in the proceedings, Garcia-Cassani anchored the Knights to a runner-up finish in the DMR.
Wandy, the Outstanding Female Field Athlete of the Meet, made sure she wouldn’t be leaving the Midwest without two individual titles.
The senior from Lagrangeville, New York, swept the horizontal jump titles. Wandy captured the long jump crown on her final attempt and followed it up with a championship record and facility record in the triple jump (12.64m/41-5¾). Both of those marks Wandy put up this past weekend are tops in NCAA DIII this season.
Williams, the Outstanding Male Field Athlete of the Meet, kept UW-Stevens Point in the hunt for a podium spot – which it would eventually nab – all by himself.
The senior from Watertown, Massachusetts, won the long jump with a leap of 7.35m (24-1½) and followed that up with a 4th place finish in the triple jump (14.54m/47-8½). Williams scored 56 percent of UWSP’s 27 points in the field this past weekend (15).