WashU Begins Indoor Nationals with 7 All-American Finishes

Photo by Marco Quaroni
Photo by Marco Quaroni

Boston, Mass., March 8, 2019 – After day one of the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field National Championships Friday, Washington University in St. Louis totaled seven All-American finishes while the No. 1-ranked women are in the lead and the No. 9-ranked men are in fifth place at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston.

The Bears women have 24 points and the men have 11 points. Earning All-American honors were sophomore Eka Jose in the long jump, senior Heidi Nassos and sophomore Julia Dannenbaum in pole vault, graduate student Aly Wayne in 5,000m, senior Brad Hodkinson in 5,000m, the women's distance medley relay consisting of senior Abby Martin, sophomore Rachel Novick, sophomore Sophie Grigaux and senior Molly Shepherd, and the men's distance medley relay team consisting of freshman Jacob Ridderhoff, sophomore Arthur Santoro, freshman Alex Cobin and junior Nick Matteucci.

Chronological order of the Bears day one at the Division III Indoor Track & Field National Championships:

Women's Long Jump (Finals)

Sophomore Eka Jose earned All-American honors for the first time in her career. After earning a trip to indoor nationals last season in triple jump, Jose added to her repertoire this season with a long jump berth as well. She posted a distance of 5.76m on her second jump which proved to be the fourth best distance of the field on Friday's championship event. Jose recorded three jumps of 5.70-meters or longer.

Women's 60m Hurdles (Prelims)

Sophomore Caira Watson Haynes ran to a personal-best time en route to earning a spot in Saturday's final round of the 60m hurdles. She crossed the finish line in a blazing 8.78 seconds, which ties 2017 graduate Daisy Ogede for the top mark in WashU program history. Senior Jay Pittman ran alongside Watson Haynes in the second heat and posted her second sub-9.0 time of the year, 8.96. Watson Haynes placed seventh and Pittman was 13th out of 20 competitors to qualify for nationals.

Men's Mile (Prelims)

Junior Nick Matteucci ran a strong race and posted the third fastest time in the first heat to guarantee a spot in the finals on Saturday. He completed the race in 4:12.60 after reserving most of his energy for the latter half of the distance. Matteucci ended the race with his two fastest laps to hold onto the final guaranteed spot from his heat, as the second heat secured three of the four additional entries based on next fastest times.

Women's Pole Vault (Finals)

Senior Heidi Nassos earned a runner-up finish in the women's pole vault by clearing a career-best 3.95m. After passing on the initial height, Nassos rattled off five consecutive clearances before 4.00m ended the run. She took second on misses, while sophomore Julia Dannenbaum earned her first All-American honor of her career. The second-year Bear missed her first two jumps before clearing 3.45, 3.60 and 3.75-meters to take sixth place overall. Nassos and Dannenbaum's All-American finishes earned WashU 11 points which propelled the team into first place.

Women's 5,000m (Finals)

Graduate student Aly Wayne dropped more than 20 seconds off her career-best and previous school record 5,000m time to earn All-American honors. She crossed the finish line in 16:36.40 as only one of her 25 laps exceeded 41 seconds. Wayne earned her second All-American honor in the event. Junior Sophie Watterson also ran a personal-best on the banked track, by shedding more than 10 seconds off her top converted 5,000m time. She caught and passed a multitude of runners in the last 10 laps of the race to place ninth overall with a time of 17:05.85.

Men's 5,000m (Finals)

Senior Brad Hodkinson used a tremendous kick to push past two runners in the final lap and hold off a third challenger to take fourth place overall in the 5,000m run. His 14:32.08 rewrote his school record that he previously set this season by dropping more than three seconds off his previous best time. The All-American honor is the first of his career during the indoor track & field season. Senior Peter Johnsrud also saved his fastest lap for the final 200m of the race and completed the 5K in 14:49.28 to place 12th out of 20 student-athletes. Hodkinson put the Bears on the scoreboard with five points for his fourth place finish.

Men's 4x400m Relay (Prelims)

The men's 4x400m relay entered nationals with the top time in Division III and completed the 1,600m relay in the fastest time out of 12 teams competing to earn a trip in Saturday's finals. The team of senior Jason Singer, senior Eddie Wintergalen, sophomore Andrew Whitaker and sophomore John Harry Wagner nearly matched its school record time of a week ago by crossing the finish line in 3:16.59. The Bears held first from beginning to end in the third heat.

Women's Distance Medley Relay (Finals)

The women's distance medley relay continually improved as the season went on and the Bears final race together as a unit in 2019 proved no different. WashU dropped more than nine seconds off its time from a week ago that secured Division III's final qualifying time to nationals when senior Abby Martin, sophomore Rachel Novick, sophomore Sophie Grigaux and senior Molly Shepherd crossed the finish line in 11:48.00. Martin, Novick and Shepherd earned their first All-American honors of their careers by placing seventh overall and in the process added two more points to WashU's team total, 24. Grigaux earned All-American honors last season as a member of the indoor 4x400m relay team.

Men's Distance Medley Relay (Finals)

The men's distance medley relay team earned WashU six points with a third place finish and time of 10:00.31. Freshman Jacob Ridderhoff, sophomore Arthur Santoro, freshman Alex Cobin and Matteucci seemed to take the race in stride with each pass of the baton. Matteucci proved to be the fastest anchor of all the DMR's and helped the Bears climb from seventh to third with a 1,600m time of 4:08.086 to close the door. WashU is in fifth place after picking up six points in the final event of Friday.

Saturday's Schedule of Events for WashU:

11:00 AM (ET) – Women's Triple Jump Prelims & Finals – Eka Jose, Heidi Nassos

1:45 PM (ET) – 60m Hurdles Finals – Caira Watson Haynes

3:15 PM (ET) – Men's Mile Finals – Nick Matteucci

5:25 PM (ET) – 4x400m Relay Finals

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