UW-Oshkosh leads team races
Host Titans get national title from Ozanich to start NCAA meet
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Adding to her career accomplishments on the first day of the 2011 NCAA Division III Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Championships, Holly Ozanich started the championship with a repeat performance in the women’s weight throw for her second career title with a toss of 67-8. Her effort exceeded her winning performance from her 2010 title by more than three feet. The title continues a championship trend for UW-Oshkosh Titans, who have won nine titles in championship history.
The effort by Ozanich helped the Titans take a day one lead with 17 points on the women’s side.
The UW-Oshkosh men had three finishers in the top eight of the weight throw, including national champion sophomore Pete Delzer. Despite finishing third at the WIAC Championships, Delzer on his fifth throw at the championships recorded a toss of 64-3 3/4 for a 3 1/2 foot victory against his closest competitor.
“Becoming an All-American is kind of a shock. I just wanted to go ‘yard’ today and whatever happened, happened,” Delzer said.
The Titans also lead on the men’s side with 24 points through five events for a one-point lead ahead of North Central heading into Saturday’s final day.
As the records started to fall at the 10-year old Capital Center, the stories and paths to championship made for exciting action. The day included seven event records on the women’s side and six more on the men’s side.
One of the more exciting competitions came in the men’s pole vault final between Ramapo College’s Craig Van Leeuwen and North Central’s Peter Geraghty. Both reached a clearance of 17-5 1/2, but it was an earlier clearance of 16-9 1/2 that decided the championship. Van Leeuwen cleared it on his first attempt while Geraghty was successful on his second attempt. He is the first national champion in school history from Ramapo.
Ashlynn Chavis of Methodist was victorious in the women’s long jump after missing the 2010 season with an injury. In the victory by Chavis, she was able to defeat the defending national champion and the title is just the second individual national title in program history since Karen Grant won her second of consecutive national titles in the 1980s.
A jump of 23-10 1/4 in the long jump proved to be a popular leap for senior Kevin Coyle of Springfield College. The Bradford, N.H., native jumped 23-10 1/4 to reach the national meet and posted the same performance on Friday en route to becoming a national champion. Coyle, who finished eighth in 2010, emerged confident in his second appearance at the national championships.
Making their second consecutive appearance and with the second-fastest seed time, the women’s distance medley relay team from Middlebury College won the first relay national title and just the second track and field national title in program history. The team had just set the school record at last week’s ECAC Championship.
On the men’s side, in the distance medley relay, it was a team made up of four seniors and a sophomore from Allegheny College. The Gators from Meadville, Pa., won the first national title in school history. With one of the top milers in the nation as an anchor, Tony Dipre, who gave up a chance to compete in the mile for the opportunity to run on the distance medley relay. The selfless sacrifice paid off as he led from baton to finish line for the title.
Emma Dewart of Ithaca, who had entered the last two national meets as the top seed, climbed the top rung on the championship platform with 3,535 points to win a national title. En route to winning the title, she posted 818 points in the high jump with a clearance of 5-5 3/4. She will compete later in the championships in the high jump. Ethan Miller of Central won the high jump with a PR clearance of 6-11. To win the title, Miller needed to clear his final two heights on the third and final attempt.