UW-La Crosse, Washington (Mo.) Capture NCAA DIII Outdoor Team Titles

GENEVA, Ohio – Both the UW-La Crosse men and the Washington (Mo.) women had been there before, but they celebrated their team titles at the 2017 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Saturday like it was their first.

The Eagles edged conference rival UW-Whitewater by 2 points for the men’s crown (47-45) and held the top prize for the 15th time in program history.

The Bears were the consensus favorite going into the meet and proved that to be the case over three days in The Buckeye State. WashU won going away 56-37 over runner-up Ithaca for their 1st outdoor title in program history and completed the indoor-outdoor sweep.

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UW-La Crosse captured the team title behind individual titles from Ross Denman (400), Ian Ewers (3000-meter steeplechase) and Luke Rohloff (110 hurdles). The Eagles also nabbed a runner-up finish in the 4×100 relay and Denman added 3 more points in the 200.

Rebecca Ridderhoff (400 hurdles) gave the Bears their lone individual title, but a litany of strong efforts propelled them in the rout. Alison Lindsay finished runner-up in the 3000-meter steeplechase, Daisy Ogede was in the top-5 of three different events (100, 200 and 100 hurdles) and WashU collected 9 points in the 800.

The final day of the meet saw a number of incredible individual performances not tied to the overall race for the team titles.

UMass Boston’s Wadeline Jonathas capped a historic freshman season with individual titles in the 200 and 400. Jonathas tied the NCAA DIII record of 53.45 on Friday and then shattered the mark on Saturday in the final in a winning effort (52.81). Later on, Jonathas lowered her own NCAA DIII record in the 200 with a time of 23.57.

UT Tyler’s Whitney Simmons wrapped up her senior year the only way she knew how – by setting an NCAA DIII record in the hammer throw. Simmons launched the implement 64.03m (210-1) on the final throw of her collegiate career to improve upon her already strong standard.

Meet records fell in those aforementioned events, as well as in the women’s 100 (Bridgewater (Va.)’s Amber Celen), women’s 800 (Ohio Northern’s Emily Richards), women’s pole vault (Westminster (Pa.)’s Marissa Kalsey), women’s triple jump (SUNY Geneseo’s Alexa Wandy) and in the men’s pole vault (North Central (Ill.)’s Luke Winder).

Speaking of Winder, he became the 1st man in NCAA DIII history to win three consecutive pole vault titles and the 3rd man to win three in his career.

That wraps up the 2017 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships, but be sure to check back in next week for official releases on All Americans and final standings when it comes to the Programs of the Year.