LINCOLN, Neb. -- Wisconsin-Oshkosh had the winning performance in five events as it successfully defended its title at the NCAA Division III Women’s Indoor Track & Field Championship.
The Titans scored 67 points to edge the 65 compiled by conference rival and second-place finisher Wisconsin-La Crosse. Wartburg finished third in the team standings with 46 points, while Wheaton (Mass.) ranked fourth with 26 and both Williams and Wisconsin-Whitewater fifth with 24. Wisconsin-Oshkosh won last year’s meet with 56 points.
The Titans owned a pair of individual standouts on the track, including senior Christy Cazzola who won both the mile and 3,000-meter runs while anchoring UW-Oshkosh’s victorious distance medley relay team.
Cazzola became the NCAA’s first three-time winner of the mile run when she crossed the finish line in a time of 4:51.47. During the 3,000-meter run, Cazzola erased a 100-meter deficit on the last lap to win the event with a school-record time of 9:38.72.
In the distance medley relay, Cazzola ran the final segment for a group that posted a time of 11:39.94. Other members of the winning quartet were Stephanie Jahn, Sonny Jenkins and Kylee Verhasselt. Last year, Cazzola, Jahn and Verhasselt helped UW-Oshkosh win the distance medley relay with a school-record time of 11:32.24.
Verhasselt earned her first individual national title with a time of 2:08.67 in the 800 run. In addition to participating in the distance medley relay, the junior also helped UW-Oshkosh finish third in the 1,600 relay with a school-record time of 3:49.21. Joining Verhasselt in the relay were Jahn, Caitlyn McCormick and Elizabeth Pospyhalla.
UW-Oshkosh’s remaining event winner was Jecel (Gerner) Klotz in the shot put. The junior achieved her third All-America award in the event with a winning distance of 49-4 1/2. Klotz also placed fifth in the 20-pound weight throw with a measurement of 57-5.
Melanie Brickner and Abby Martin were the Titans’ other All-Americans. Brickner placed third in the 20-pound weight throw with a distance of 59-8 1/2, while Martin finished eighth in the shot put with a mark of 44-9 3/4. Brickner also placed third in the 20-pound weight throw at last year’s championship.
Other UW-Oshkosh competitors at the meet were Brickner in the shot put, Samantha Blue in the long jump and Kasey Ederer in the high jump.