Two All-American Performances Lead No. 10 Engineers on Day One of NCAA Championship

Two All-American Performances Lead No. 10 Engineers on Day One of NCAA Championship

THE BASICS:

- Location: Roger Harring Stadium at Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex (La Crosse, Wisconsin)

- The Lead: Led by two All-American performances in the pole vault, the No. 10 ranked MIT women's track and field team currently sits in fifth place out of 47 teams with 8.5 points after day one of the 2018 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championship.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- In the first event of the championship, senior Mary Eccles (Wahaiwa, Hawaii) came into the 10,000 meters as the No. 9 seed. She was inside the top eight for the first half of the race, which was moved up to 8 a.m. local time due to hot weather expected in the afternoon. Eccles crossed in a time of 38:16.03 to finish 17th out of 22 runners overall.

- The Engineers earned a pair of All-Americans in the women's pole vault as junior Kari Stromhaug (Vestal, N.Y.) was third in 12 feet, 3.5 inches and freshman Jacqueline Ahrens (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.) finished in a tie for sixth while also clearing 12 feet, 3.5 inches. For Stromhaug, this is her second straight outdoor All-American accolade after entering the championship as the No. 14 seed.

- In the discus, senior Ariela Slutsky (Weston, Fla.) advanced to the finals and finished with a distance of 145 feet, five inches to finish ninth. Just eight inches out of scoring in the event, Slutsky was the 14th seed coming in as her top throw of the day came on her opening throw in the finals.

- In the 1,500 meters, sophomores Marissa McPhillips (Narragansett, R.I.) and Katie Bacher (Macungie, Pa.) both advanced to the finals. McPhillips earned the automatic spot as she was second in her heat in 4:36.74, while Bacher was the final qualifier among the next four fastest times as she was 12th overall in 4:37.63. The top four in each heat automatically advanced.

- In the prelims of the 400-meter hurdles, senior Hannah Chen (Los Gatos, Calif.) continued her push for a fourth-straight All-American accolade in the event as she was first in her heat and second overall with a time of 1:02.33.

- In the final event of the day for the Engineers, sophomore Jenna Melanson (Woodland, Wash.) advanced to the finals of the 3,000-meter steeplechase for the second straight season as she crossed in 10:41.37. Her time was the second-fastest overall and .02 seconds ahead of third place. The top five from each heat, as well as the next fastest four times, advanced to the final.

UP NEXT:

- The Engineers return to action on Friday, May 25th for day two of the NCAA Outdoor Championship. Competition will resume at 11 a.m. Central time.                                                                                        

STAY CONNECTED:

- For the latest on MIT Athletics, follow the Engineers via social media on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.