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Five Titans To Participate At NCAA Men's Indoor Championships

Five Titans To Participate At NCAA Men's Indoor Championships

Senior Joe Zack is seeded third in the mile run and junior Ryan Powers will compete in a pair of events to lead UW-Oshkosh's qualifiers for the NCAA Division III Men's Indoor Track & Field Championships this weekend in Birmingham, Ala.

Competition begins at 10 a.m. on both Friday (March 9) and Saturday (March 10) at the Birmingham CrossPlex.

Five Titans will represent UW-Oshkosh in five individual events. Devan Gertschen and Joe Vils qualified in the pole vault while Powers will compete in both the 200- and 400-meter races, and Erik Schwandt is set to run the 60-meter dash.

The top 15 performers in each of the 15 individual events and the 12 fastest relay teams earned qualification to the Division III Championship based on performances throughout the indoor season. The top eight finishers in each event at the national meet earn All-America status.

Zack, seeking his first individual All-America honor, established a qualifying time of 4:06.07 in the mile run. Jeremy Hernandez from Ramapo College (N.J.) is the top seed with a time of 3:59.01.

Zack was a member of UW-Oshkosh's distance medley relay squad that earned All-America honors with its seventh-place finish at the Division III Championship in 2015. He also placed ninth in the mile run a last year's national meet.

Gertschen, a senior, is back in the national pole vault field for the third consecutive season while Vils qualified for his first Division III Championship.

Gertschen, who finished ninth in the pole vault at the past two NCAA indoor meets, is seeded sixth this season with a qualifying clearance of 16-4 3/4. Vils, a sophomore, is seeded 12th with a top height of 15-11 3/4. Dan Evers from Monmouth College (Ill.), last year's runner-up, is the top seed at 17-4 1/2.

Powers, a first-time 200-meter dash qualifier, returns to the 400-meter run field for the third straight year. He enters this year's 200-meter dash seeded fifth with a time of 21.63 seconds and the 400-meter run seeded 10th at 48.19.

Powers earned All-America status by placing sixth in the 400-meter run in 2016 before finishing ninth in the race a year ago.

UW-Stevens Point's Calden Wojt is the top seed in the 200-meter race this season with a time of 21.49 seconds. Patrick Mikel from Loras College (Iowa) is seeded first in the 400-meter run with a time of 47.56.

Schwandt, a freshman, is seeded ninth in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.87 seconds. Jordan Johnson from Benedictine University (Ill.) is the top seed at 6.79.

UW-Oshkosh placed 42nd in the team standings at the 2017 Division III Indoor Championship with five points.

North Central College (Ill.) and UW-La Crosse shared last year's team title with 34 points. The Cardinals and Eagles were followed in the standings by third-place UW-Whitewater with 30 points, and fourth-place UW-Stevens Point with 27. A total of 71 teams scored points at the 2017 championship.

UW-Oshkosh, the 2009 national champion, has scored at least 13 points at 16 of the past 17 NCAA indoor championships. The Titans were the national runners-up in 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2013.

NCAA Division III Men's & Women's Indoor Track & Field Championships • NCAA.com Website

NCAA Division III Men's & Women's Indoor Track & Field Championships • Host Website

Birmingham CrossPlex Website