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.UW-Oshkosh’s latest NCAA indoor victory is its ninth in school history. The Titans have won more NCAA indoor titles than any other school. Overall, the national championship is the 46th captured by UW-Oshkosh, including the 31st in NCAA Division III competition.
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.