Select Amherst Runners Set to Compete at Nationals

AMHERST, MA – The NCAA track and field national committee has released the complete fields and heat sheets for the 25th annual NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field National Championships to be held at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology this Friday and Saturday. Select Amherst College runners will take part in the men's distance medley relay and the women's 5,000-meter run.

Fans will be able to follow the official NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships website, featuring results, high resolution photos and videos following events. A total of 466 student-athletes from 134 colleges located in 27 states will compete for national championship honors at the Sports and Recreation Center in Terre Haute. The week begins with the annual event banquet on Thursday night in Hulbert Arena.   

Competition for Amherst will begin Friday evening when sophomore Tommy Moore (Marlborough, MA) and juniors William Bell (Silver Spring, MD), Jimmy Swanson (New Orleans, LA) and Kit Callahan (Evanston, IL) take part in the distance medley relay. 

The Lord Jeffs' relay team earned a spot in the NCAA Championships and set a new school record when it ran a 9:59.60 at Boston University's Valentine Classic on Feb. 14, just finishing under the automatic qualifying mark of 10:00. First-year Ben Scheetz (Lancaster, PA) was a part of that squad, but an injury has prevented him from making the trip to Indiana, as he will be replaced by Callahan. 

On Saturday, senior Elise Tropiano (Plainview, NY) will compete in the 5,000-meter run. The Valentine Classic proved to be the most successful meet of the season for Amherst, as that is also where Tropiano qualified for the NCAA Championships. Her time of 17:07.99 placed her second in the meet and bested the automatic qualifying mark of 17:10.

Tropiano will be looking to earn All-America honors in the 5k for the third consecutive year, as she placed seventh in the 2007 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships and again in 2008. Her time of 17:09.45 as a sophomore came at Rose-Hulman, while her 17:30.89 last year took place at Ohio Northern. 

The NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field National Championships will involve 15 men's and 15 women's individual title honors over the two days of competition. Team national champions will also be crowned for the most cumulative points over the 15 events in each gender.

The 2009 Indoor Track and Field National Championships will be the fourth NCAA Division III title event that Rose-Hulman has hosted in the past seven years. The college previously hosted the 2002 and 2003 Women's Basketball Championships, along with the 2007 Track and Field Championships. Rose-Hulman also hosted the 1995 Men's and Women's Golf Championships at Hulman Links Golf Course.

Friday's men's distance medley relay is set to begin at 6:25 p.m., with Saturday's women's 5k to begin at 3:55 p.m.