GREENE COUNTY — Several area track and field athletes competed in the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships, March 9-11, in the Birmingham (Ala.) CrossPlex.
Cedarville University’s Carsyn Koch successfully defend her women’s 800-meter crown. The junior from Washburn, Maine posted a time of 2:05.65 to win by a margin of 1.73 seconds. The effort is the second-fastest in Cedarville women’s track & field history as she just missed her meet record mark of 2:05.12.
Koch is a three-time NCAA D-II 800 meter champion — twice indoors and once outdoors — and is a five-time All-American.
On Friday, the distance medley relay team of Olivia Esbenshade, Lyndsey Smith, Olivia Kundo, and Koch placed third to earn All-American honors. Their time of 11:19.55 not only wiped out their own school record by more than 10 seconds, it’s the third-fastest distance medley relay performance in NCAA Division II indoor history.
The top four teams in the 2017 event at the Birmingham CrossPlex broke the previous meet record.
Esbenshade also competed in the women’s mile prelims on Day One. Her time of 4:52.47, which is fourth all-time at CU, was 11th overall with the top nine advancing to the final.
Cedarville totaled 16 points in the meet and tied for 15th place in the overall team standings.
Yellow Jackets men’s distance runner and Xenia High grad Daniel Michalski finished seventh in the mile for his second All-American performance in as many days.
Michalski was timed in 4:09.45 with the top eight finishers earning All-American status. His prelims time of 4:07.69 and finals mark rank second and third respectively on the Yellow Jacket men’s all-time list. Michalski was a 2016 Outdoor All-American in the steeplechase and is Cedarville’s first NCAA All-American in an individual event both indoors and outdoors.
On Friday, he was joined by Tim De Jong, Wyatt Hartman, and Ethan Gatchell in the distance medley relay final. The quartet turned in a time of 9:53.72 to grab the final All-American position in eighth place. The mark is the second-fastest in CU track & field history.
Overall in the team standings, the Yellow Jackets men tied for 42nd place in the country. Cedarville will host the Yellow Jacket Collegiate Open, beginning at 10:30 a.m. March 25.
Central State University men’s sprinter Juan Scott also competed in Birmingham, but failed to advance out of the preliminary round. Scott finished 12th with a time of 8.18 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles competition. The top eight hurdlers advanced to the finals.
The freshman from Dayton Dunbar has won the 60-meter hurdles event five times throughout the indoor season. His most impressive performance was a pace of 7.97 seconds to win February at Ohio State University. His time at OSU ranks seventh in the country. Scott is the first Marauder to compete in the NCAA Indoor National Track & Field Championships since Malik Lewis appeared in 2014.
The championships were part of the 2017 NCAA Division II National Championships Festival. The University of Alabama in Huntsville and the City of Birmingham served as co-hosts of the championships.