Waverly, Iowa – The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse men's track & field team won its NCAA Division III record 14th outdoor title Saturday afternoon at Wartburg College's (Iowa) Walston-Hoover Stadium.
The Eagles finished with 41.0 team to capture the crown for the second consecutive year, winning the title a year ago in Canton, New York. UW-Eau Claire finished second Saturday with 33.0 points while Monmouth College (Ill.) placed third with 32.0 and UW-Platteville fourth with 31.0. A total of 78 teams scored points.
Head coach Josh Buchholtz earned his sixth career NCAA III title at UWL, including his third outdoor (2013, 2015, 2016). He has also led the Eagles three indoor crowns (2009, 2013, 2015). UWL also won outdoor national titles in 1988, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2013 and 2015. UWL also has a national record 17 indoor titles.
UWL won a national title in the 4x400-meter relay in the last event of the day Saturday to clinch the team title. Zak Wallenfang, Sam Smith, Joe Smith, and Ross Denman took the crown (3:10.50). It is the Eagles' sixth (1992, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2016) national in the 4x400-meter relay.
It was the fourth overall NCAA Division III outdoor All-America honor for Denman, who was a member of the 4x100-meter relay national championship in 2015. He also earned two individual honors at the national championships, finishing third in the 400-meter dash in 2014 and second in 2015.
Sam Smith picked up his third All-America honor in the 4x400-meter relay, placing third in 2014 and second in 2015. Joe Smith and Wallenfang earned thier second outdoor All-America honor Saturday. Smith was a member of the second-place 4x400-meter relay in 2015 while Wallenfang was on the third-place 4x400-meter relay in 2014.
UWL's Ernest Winters earned NCAA III outdoor All-America honors in two individual events and one relay Saturday, placing second (10.74) in the 100-meter dash and fourth (21.91) in the 200-meter dash. He was also a member of the second-place (40.56) 4x100-meter relay team with Matt Adams, Ryan Send and Joe Koenecke. The outdoor relay All-America honor was the first for Adams and Send and second for Koenecke, who was on the Eagles' national champion 4x100-meter relay in 2015.
Cyrus Mason earned his second career outdoor All-America honor Saturday, placing third (1:50.47) in the 800-meter run. He was also a member of the 4x400-meter relay team that finished third in 2014.
In the 100-meter hurdles, Luke Sauerman placed seventh (14.69) to earn his first career outdoor All-America accolade.
UWL's Nathan Berg finished 13th (178-5) in the hammer throw Saturday.