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NCAA Men's Track & Field Championship To Include Nine Titans

NCAA Men's Track & Field Championship To Include Nine Titans

Justin Skinkis is seeded first in the 800-meter run and Ryan Powers seeks a repeat All-America performance at 400 meters as UW-Oshkosh sends nine athletes to this weekend's NCAA Division III Men's Indoor Track & Field Championship in Naperville, Ill.

Competition begins at 10 a.m. on both Friday (March 10) and Saturday (March 11) at North Central College's Al B. Carius Indoor Track Facility.

UW-Oshkosh will be represented in four individual events and one relay. The Titans other individual qualifiers are junior Nick Freitag in the 800-meter run, juniors Roberto Lara and Joe Zack in the mile run and junior Devan Gertschen in the pole vault.

Also qualifying for the championship is UW-Oshkosh's 1,600-meter relay squad of Powers, senior Danny Trimner, junior Garrison Griest, and sophomore Morgan Malm.

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

Skinkis, a sophomore, produced the fastest 800-meter time in the country this season. His best effort of 1:52.08 narrowly edged the time of 1:52.09 by second-seed Deko Ricketts from Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.). Ricketts was the national runner-up in the event a year ago.

Freitag is the 13th seed in the 800-meter run with a qualifying time of 1:54.29.

Powers, a sophomore, is seeded 13th in the 400-meter run with a time of 49.08 seconds, while Ethan Valentine from Calvin College (Mich.) is the top seed at 48.13.

Last season, Powers picked up his first indoor All-America award by finishing sixth in the 400-meter race with a time of 48.76.

Lara returns to nationals in the mile run for the third consecutive year. This season, he is seeded third with a time of 4:09.43. Lara achieved All-America status in the event at the 2015 championship with a fifth-place time of 4:13.83 before finishing 12th at last year's meet with a time of 4:16.01.

Joe Coffey from St. Olaf College (Minn.) is seeded first in this year's mile race with a time of 4:08.02, and UW-Oshkosh's Zack is seeded 15th with a time of 4:13.71.

Gertschen returns to the championship looking to improve upon his ninth-place showing in the pole vault last season. He enters this year's competition seeded 10th with a height of 16-1 1/4.

Two-time defending national pole vault champion Luke Winder from host North Central College is this year's top seed with a height of 17-11. Winder won last year's title with a height of 18-1 1/4 after securing the 2015 crown with a vault of 17-4 1/2.

UW-Oshkosh's 1,600-meter relay team is seeded fourth with a time of 3:18.20. Augustana College (Ill.), last year's runner-up in the event, enters with the top-seeded time of 3:18.00.

UW-Oshkosh placed 13th in the team standings at the 2016 championship with 13 points.

UW-Eau Claire won its second straight team title a year ago with 53 points. The Blugolds were followed in the standings by second-place UW-Whitewater with 49 points, third-place UW-La Crosse with 40 and fourth-place Monmouth College (Ill.) with 30.

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

NCAA Division III Men's Indoor Track & Field Championship Qualifiers

NCAA Division III Men's Indoor Track & Field Championship Host Website

NCAA Division III Men's Indoor Track & Field Championship Website