WINSTON-SALEM, NC -- Wisconsin-La Crosse leads after the first day of competition Friday at the Division III Indoor Championships at the JDL Fast Track. The Eagles lead with 31.0 team points while North Central College (Ill.) is second with 26.0 and Mount Union (Ohio) third with 11.5. SUNY-Oneonta and UW-Eau Claire are tied for fourth with 10.0 points.
Messiah College (Ohio), University of Southern Maine and UW-Stout are tied for sixth with 8.0 points while Johns Hopkins University (Md.), Oberlin College (Ohio), Springfield College (Mass.), Amherst College (Mass.) and Bridgewater State University (Mass.) are tied for ninth with 6.0 points. A total of 29 teams scored points Friday.
Wisconsin-La Crosse is seeking its 18th NCAA Division III indoor title, including third in a row. The Eagles have won 10 of the last 13 indoor national championships.In Friday's action, UW-La Crosse's Dominique Neloms captured his consecutive Division III title in the long jump (24-2 1/4). He became the fifth student-athlete in NCAA III history to win back-to-back national crowns in the long jump and the first in UW-La Crosse history. Neloms is one of four student-athletes in school history to win the long jump title, joining Bill Schroeder (1993), Andy Basler (2002) and Kellen McCrary (2010).
The Eagles' Grant Havard earned NCAA III All-America honors with a fourth-place finish (64-8 1/2) in the weight throw Friday. It is his third career indoor All-America honor after finishing third in the weight throw in 2014 and fourth in 2013.
Bryan Klister and Jeffery Hill each earned NCAA III All-America accolades in the pole vault Friday for UW-L. Klister placed fourth (16-4 3/4) while Hill was sixth (16-2 3/4). It is Klister's third career award in the pole vault after also placed fourth in 2013 and 2014. Hill picked up his first career All-America honor Friday.
On the track Friday, UW-La Crosses Garrett Kerska, Dean McGuire, Sean Royer and Tom Linner earned All-America awards after a second-place finish (9:58.44) in the distance medley relay. It is the second career All-America honor for Kerska, McGuire and Linner while Royer earned his first. Kerska was a member of UW-L's sixth-place distance medley relay in 2012 while McGuire was on the fourth-place 4x400-meter relay in 2014. Linner was on the Eagles' fourth-place distance medley relay in 2014.
Nate Routhier finished 15th (15:07.33) in the 5,000-meter run Friday.
UW-L's Alex Jelich is in 13th-place after the first four events of the heptathlon (2,583 points). First day events included the 60-meter dash, long jump, shot put and high jump. The heptathlon will conclude Saturday, March 14 with the 60-meter hurdles, pole vault and 1,000-meter run.
In preliminary track action Friday, UW-L's Ross Denman advanced to the 200 (22.16) and 400 (48.76) meter dash finals scheduled for Saturday, March 14.
The Eagles' Zach Rothering failed to advance to Saturday's 200-meter dash final (22.34) while Zak Wallenfang did not make the 400-meter dash final (49.95). Daniel Otto failed to make Saturday's 60-meter hurdles final (8.21).