NAPERVILLE, Ill., – Washington University in St. Louis women's track & field captured the 2017 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field National Championship during the two-day event at North Central College, the first title in program history and 21st overall National Championship in school history. The men's program placed 17th with 11.5 points from two senior members of the team.
The women scored 44 points to lead the field, supplanting the runner-up Ithaca College (41.25) during the final women's race of the day. Seniors Rebecca Ridderhoff, Kelli Hancock, Ashley Knudson and Daisy Ogede raced to a second place finish in the 4x400 Relay. Ogede crossed the finish line as the Bears slowly came to the realization that the eight points awarded to the second place team were more than enough to pass up Ithaca for the National Championship.
Senior Deko Ricketts also earned a national championship finish in the 800 for the men. The 800 began with University of Wisconsin-La Crosse pushing the tempo. Ricketts made his move on the final lap with around 150 meters remaining to take the lead and capture the 800 title with a season-best time of 1:51.07.
Ridderhoff was no stranger to scoring points for the Bears as she raced to four All-American finishes during the final day. In addition to helping the 4x400 relay team to a runner-up finish, she placed seventh in three events individually. Ridderhoff totaled six points in the 60 hurdles (9.01), 400 (56.49) and the 200 (25.45).
Ogede also ran to multiple All-American finishes individually. She placed second in the 60 with a new school record 7.56 time, which moves her into a tie for ninth best all-time in Division III indoor history. Ogede followed the record time with a third place finish in the 200 (24.97) before anchoring the 4x400 Relay team.
Also earning All-American status for the second indoor season in a row was junior Annalise Wagner. She raced to a third place finish in the 800 (2:13.22) scoring six points for the Bears.
Junior Alison Lindsay finished 13th in the 3,000 (10:09.52) one day after helping the distance medley relay team to a national title by running the 1,600m leg of the race.
The Bears are the first track & field team in the University Athletic Association (UAA) to win the national championship.
WashU will begin the outdoor season on March 24 with the WashU Mini Meet.