Contact: Matthew Hart
NAPERVILLE, Ill. – Matt Melton '14 and Keri Lambert '13 notched sixth-place, All-America finishes in the 800- and 5000-meter runs, respectively, to cap an exciting weekend for the Amherst College track and field teams at the NCAA Division III Indoor Championships hosted by North Central College.
After the women's Distance Medley Relay squad placed eighth on Friday night, Lambert's sixth-place showing in the 5k earned Amherst three points. With a team total of four, the women tied for 43rd out of 64 programs to score at the national meet. UW-Oshkosh took home the team title with 56 points while Williams was the NESCAC's top finisher, placing seventh at 17.5
Meanwhile, Melton's three points marked the men's lone scoring of the weekend, tying the team for 45th place out of 63 scoring programs. UW-La Crosse grabbed the men's title with 74 points while Bates (23) notched an impressive fifth-place finish to lead all NESCAC teams.
Appearing at his first national meet, Melton capped a standout winter in fine form as he crossed the line in 1:53.63, well ahead of seventh-place finisher Patrick Foley '14 of North Central (1:56.58). Bates' James LePage '13 was the only other NESCAC racer in the eight-man final, placing fourth in 1:51.08 while Jake Waterman '13 of Wabash took the crown in 1:50.30.
Forty minutes after Melton's race, Lambert squared off with the nation's top distance runners, collecting her sixth career All-America award between cross country and track and field. A night after anchoring the DMR to its strong finish, the senior posted a time of 17:08.67 in the 5k, trailing only Middlebury rival Addie Tousley '13 (17:02.11) among NESCAC racers. In a thrilling finish, Oshkosh's Christy Cazzola '14 (16:57.58) outkicked Calvin's Nicole Michmerhuizen '14 (16:57.67) for the individual title.
One of the most decorated harriers in Amherst history, Lambert adds her indoor 5k All-America to an award in the same event picked up at last year's outdoor nationals. She won the individual title in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the same meet before picking up her second All-America honor in cross country this fall and garnering the label on Friday with DMR teammates Lauren Almeida '13, Naomi Bates '14 and Amy Dao '14.
Bates placed 12th in the long jump on Friday to round out the efforts of the Amherst women at the event, while Pat Grimes '13 placed 11th in the preliminary race of the mile.
The Jeff teams begin outdoor competition on Saturday, March 30 at the Tufts Snowflake Classic.