Grinnell, Iowa, March 11, 2016 – The Washington University in St. Louis men's distance medley relay raced to the national championship to highlight day one of the 2016 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships Friday at Grinnell College.
Junior Mike Sullivan, senior Alex Bastian, junior Deko Ricketts and senior Josh Clark clocked a time of 10:00.25 to win the race by more than two seconds over the runner-up team. They became the first relay team in school history to win a national title and just the second men's relay to earn All-America honors after last year's DMR finished fifth.
The WashU women had two All-America finishes Friday. Sophomore Aly Wayne ran the second-fastest time in school history to finish third in the 5,000. She took more than 11 seconds off her previous career-best to finish in 16:57.31. The women's distance medley relay also made the podium. Senior Ellen Toennies, sophomore Annalise Wagner, junior Ashley Knudson and sophomore Alison Lindsay finished fifth with a time of 11:52.08.
WashU also had four qualifiers for Saturday's event finals. The women's 1,600 relay team of juniors Rebecca Ridderhoff, Kelli Hancock and Daisy Ogede and senior Emily Warner clocked the fastest time in the prelims (3:50.11) by nearly two seconds. Ogede also advanced to the final of the 200 with a time of 25.17, but missed advancing to the final of the 60 by one-thousandth of a second.
Ricketts won his heat of the men's 800 with a time of 1:54.61. Wagner reached the finals of the women's 800 by finishing third in her heat with a time of 2:12.93. Senior Alex Arteaga sits in 14th after the first four events of the men's heptathlon, and will finish competing Saturday.
Senior Melanie Ehrenberg also competed for WashU Friday, finishing 14th with a clearance of 3.40 meters. Warner also competed in the 800 for the women, finishing 16th in a time of 2:19.51.
The second day of the NCAA Indoor Championships get underway with field events beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday. Running event finals begin at 1:30 p.m.