Whitworth Opens Big at NCAA T&F Championships

(Photo courtesy of John Froschauer/PLU Athletics)
(Photo courtesy of John Froschauer/PLU Athletics)

GENEVA, Ohio – With two All-America performances, Whitworth University had an outstanding opening day on Thursday at the 2019 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships. 

Kayla Rambo finished as national runner-up in the women's discus and Nick McGill took fourth place in the men's javelin throw, giving the Pirates their first points of the meet.  Izzy Clark is currently in third place in the heptathlon and Marissa Mount qualified into the finals of the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase with the third-best time.

Rambo hurled the discus 157'-11" (48.13m), breaking the school record of 157'-3" set by Courtney Fairhart in 2016.  Rambo's performance was full of drama.  After fouling on her first two attempts, Rambo got off a throw of 137'-1" on her third try, which barely qualified her into the finals in ninth place.  Her fifth throw was 139'-2", which would have moved her into eighth place.  On her final throw of event, she shattered her previous personal best of 146'-8" to claim second place behind Erica Oawster of Wis.-Eau Claire (160'-4" / 48.86m).

McGill came through in similar fashion, firing the javelin 203'-6" (62.36m) on his final throw of the day.  He got into finals with a mark of 193'-7" on his third throw.  His final effort moved him up to fourth place.  Jordan Entwistle of UMass Dartmouth won with a distance of 210'-10" (64.27).

McGill also competed in the first day of the decathlon on Friday.  He is currently in 11th place with 3527 points, his best first-day score ever.  He opened with a time of 11.42 in the 100-meter dash and followed with a jump of 20'-10" in the long jump.  His shot put went 40'-3.25" and he cleared 6'-1.5" in the high jump.  He finished with a time of 51.56 in the 400-meter dash.  Will Daniels of Central College leads with a score of 3990.

Clark scored 2935 points on the first day of the heptathlon to sit in third place.  She trails Sylviann Momont of Wis.-Stevens Point (3085) and Annie Wright of George Fox (3028).  Clark opened with a time of 14.78 in the 100-meter hurdles and then cleared 5'-0.5" in the high jump.  Her shot put went 37'-0.5" and she finished with a time of 26.15 in the 200-meter dash.

Mount finished second in the opening heat of the steeplechase with a time of 10:49.52.  Tasha Freed (Johns Hopkins) jumped out to a big early lead and held on to win the heat in 10:42.81.  Defending champion Annie Rodenfels (Centre) won the second heat in 10:07.22, setting a new Division III championship meet record.

McGill and Clark will conclude the multi-events on Friday.  Mount will race in the finals of the steeplechase on Saturday morning.