MEET PREVIEW: 2018 NCAA DIII Indoor Track & Field Championships

NOTE: This is an individual-centric preview. Check out the most recent National Team Rankings for the team preview.

There are 58 athletes – 32 women and 26 men – who are scheduled to compete in two or more individual events at the 2018 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships this weekend in Birmingham, Alabama.

QUICK LINKS: National Championships Central

Those 32 women come from 25 programs, while those 26 men hail from 24. Programs with two or more athletes double-dipping include the men from Christopher Newport and UW-La Crosse as well as the women from Brockport, Carthage, Ithaca, Stevens, UW-La Crosse, UW-Oshkosh and Williams.

Busy Weekend In Birmingham Ahead

Name Program Name Program
Eric Dols Hamline Wadeline Jonathas UMass Boston
Will Daniels Central (Iowa) Amber Celen Bridgewater (Va.)
Ta’riq Thomas Delaware Valley Emily Richards Ohio Northern
Sam Elsner UW-Stout Gina Dello Russo Stevens
Ryan Scott Christopher Newport Savannah Rygiewicz UW-La Crosse
Ryan Powers UW-Oshkosh Sarah King George Fox
Peter Girardi St. John Fisher Sam Holtz Wartburg
Jordan Johnson Benedictine (Ill.) Reilly Wagner Misericordia
Jeremy Hernandez Ramapo Monique Newton Oberlin
Jeffrey Dover Christopher Newport Mia Bennett Carthage
Jared Louf-Woods UMass Dartmouth Maddie Nelson UW-La Crosse
Jacob Teunas UW-La Crosse Laura Darcey Chicago
Irie Gourde Brandeis Katie Weeks Stevens
Ernest Winters UW-La Crosse Katherine Cook Bates
Emmanuel Egbujor Augsburg Karmin Shute Birmingham-Southern
Dylan Kalinay Simpson (Iowa) Alexandria Rheaume Ithaca
Dylan Gearinger Haverford Jana Agustsdottir Worcester State
Dhruvil Patel North Central (Ill.) Veronica Wheeler DeSales
Darin Lau UW-Eau Claire Gabrielle Noland Loras
Dan Renwick Williams Emma Egan Williams
Dan Harden-Marshall Ithaca Emily Reichenberger UW-Oshkosh
Brent Reierson UW-Stevens Point Elizabeth Willis Carthage
Blaze Murfin Dubuque Elisabeth Plympton SUNY Plattsburgh
Alex Duff UW-Whitewater Dani Bland Emory
Will McDermott Widener Cheyenne Moore UW-Oshkosh
Harrison Escoffery Rowan Chanyce Powell Brockport
Cassie Vince Albion
Brittany Bowman Tufts
Kaitlin Mallek UW-Stout
Summer-Solstice Thomas Williams
Taryn Cordani Ithaca
Victoire Kothor Brockport

Take a closer look at the entries and you’ll find only three athletes who are listed in three or more individual events: Amber Celen of Bridgewater (Va.), Wadeline Jonathas of UMass Boston and Emily Richards of Ohio Northern.

Celen and Jonathas will see each other quite a bit as they’ll overlap in the 60, 200 and long jump (Jonathas is also entered in the 400), while Richards is off in her own world taking on the best NCAA DIII has to offer in the 800, mile and 3000.

Wait a second.

Jonathas is entered in four individual events this weekend.

Not only that, but Jonathas is seeded first in each of those events.

If Jonathas stays true to form and wins four individual titles, she’d be just the second woman in NCAA DIII history to accomplish that feat. She’d join Christopher Newport’s Sheila Trice, who did so in 1989 by winning the 55, 55 hurdles, long jump and triple jump. Plus, if Jonathas scores 40 points for UMass Boston by herself, that would all but assure her team a podium spot as 40 points got on the podium in 16 of the past 17 years (2003 was the outlier).

Jonathas will have to work for that accomplishment, though. The aforementioned Celen is the NCAA DIII indoor record holder in the 200 (Jonathas is No. 2) and Roanoke’s Quinn Harlan blistered the track in the 60 to the tune of 7.46 (.03 off Jonathas’ PR) a few weeks ago to beat Celen at the ODAC Indoor Championships.

Richards could become the third woman in NCAA DIII history to win three individual events at a single indoor meet, joining Trice and Illinois College’s Melissa Norville in 2013 (60 hurdles, long jump and triple jump).

There are considerably less speed bumps on Richards’ road to glory. Her toughest challenge will come in the mile, where she and Brandeis’ Emily Bryson are neck and neck in the NCAA DIII record book (Richards is No. 6 at 4:46.11, Bryson is No. 7 at 4:46.63). Richards has the best seed in the 800 by five seconds and nearly 16 seconds in the 3000.

Will history be made this weekend at the Birmingham CrossPlex?

Stay tuned.