DIII Men's Track and Field: Wisconsin-La Crosse earns third straight outdoor title
GENEVA, Ohio –– The Wisconsin-La Crosse men's track & field team won its NCAA Division III record 15th outdoor title Saturday afternoon at SPIRE Institute. The Eagles finished with 47.0 team points to capture the crown for the third consecutive year.
UW-Whitewater was second with 45.0 points with Mount Union third (29.0), Benedictine (Ill.) fourth (28.0). Cortland State (N.Y.) and UW-Eau Claire tied for fifth (25.0). A total of 87 teams scored points.
UWL has also won outdoor national championships in 1988, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2013, 2015 and 2016. The Eagles have also earned an NCAA Division III record 18 indoor titles, including the 2017 crown in Naperville, Illinois.
This marks the 12th time (1988, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2013, 2017) UWL has swept the NCAA III Indoor and Outdoor titles.
It is @UWLAthletics 71st national title in school history, including 37th since 2001. Go Eagles!— UWL Athletics (@UWLAthletics) May 27, 2017
UWL won three individual national titles Saturday, giving it 49 outdoor national champions in school history. The Eagles' Ian Ewers started Saturday by capturing the 3,000-meter steeplechase (9:05.58), becoming the second runner in school history to win the event. He joins Brett Altergott, who won the title in 1997 and 1998.
Luke Rohloff took the 110-meter hurdles crown (14.17) Saturday, also the second runner in UWL history to accomplish the feat after Marcus Walgrave took the title in 2006.
It was the first career NCAA III Outdoor All-America award for Ewers and Rohloff.
UWL's Ross Denman capped off his career by earning a national championship in the 400-meter dash (46.89) Saturday. He joins David Coates (1994) and Andrew Rock (2003, 2004) as UWL national champions in the event. Denman also finished sixth in the 200-meter dash (21.28) Saturday and earned NCAA Division III All-America honors in the 4x400 meter relay with Zak Wallenfang, Sam Smith and Ben Jordan, who finished seventh (3:13.93) Saturday. The seventh-place finish secured the team title for UWL as the Eagles entered the final event tied with UW-Whitewater.
Denman earned nine career NCAA III All-America outdoor honors, including three national crowns. Along with his national championship in the 400-meter dash Saturday, he was a member of two national championship relays, including the 4x100-meter relay in 2015 and 4x400-meter relay in 2016. Denman was on the second-place 4x400-meter relay in 2015 and third-place squad in 2014. Individually, Denman placed second in the 400-meter dash in 2015 and third in 2014.
Wallenfang and Smith earned their third career All-America awards in the 4x400-meter relay Saturday, while Jordan earned his first. Wallenfang and Smith were members of UWL's national championship 4x400-meter relay last season and third-place 4x400-meter relay in 2014.
The Eagles' 4x100-relay of Matthew Foster, Ernest Winters, Zach Rothering and Joe Koenecke placed second (40.52) Saturday, earning All-America honors. Koenecke and Winters earned their fourth career outdoor All-America awards, Rothering his second, and Foster his first.
Koenecke was on the national championship 4x100-meter relay in 2015 and second-place 4x100-meter relay in 2014. Winters picked up three All-America accolades in 2016, placing second in the 100-meter dash and fourth in the 200-meter dash. He was also on UWL's second-place 4x100 meter relay. Rothering was on the winning 4x100-meter relay team in 2015.
UWL's Brendan Deiss earned his first career outdoor All-America honor with a fifth-place finish in the high jump (6-9 1/2) Friday.
In the pole vault Saturday, Wes Evansen tied for ninth (15-09), while Austin Zajkowski ran 13th (14:54.75) in the 5,000-meter run. Nathan Berg was 10th (178-11) and Andrew Jarrett 16th (169-10) in the hammer throw.
Head coach Josh Buchholtz earned his eighth career NCAA III title at UWL, including his fourth outdoor (2013, 2015, 2016, 2017). He has also led the Eagles four indoor crowns (2009, 2013, 2015, 2017).
The University of Mount Union co-hosted this year's national championships with the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. UWL is set to host the 2018 NCAA III Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Roger Harring Stadium at Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex on the UWL campus from May 24-26, 2018.