Lauren Wrensch will compete in two individual events and a relay as UW-Oshkosh sends five student-athletes to this weekend's NCAA Division III Women's Outdoor Track & Field Championship in Geneva, Ohio.
The 38th edition of the championship will be held Thursday through Saturday (May 23-25) at the SPIRE Institute. Competition begins at 10 a.m. (EDT) both Thursday and Friday and 11 a.m. (EDT) on Saturday. The meet will be held in conjunction with the 46th chapter of the men's championship.
The women's championship features 22 entrants in each of the 19 individual events and 16 contestants in both of the two relays. The top-eight finishers in each event earn All-America honors.
Wrensch enters the championship seeded third in the long jump and 10th in the 400-meter run. She will also run with teammates Alexandra Demco, Lindsay Denu and Taylor Pralle on a 1,600-meter relay team that is seeded 15th. The alternate for the Titans in the relay is Hannah Lohrenz.
UW-Oshkosh's remaining participant for this weekend is Isabella Samuels. She is seeded fourth in the shot put.
Wrensch earned her trip to Ohio with season-best performances of 19-4 1/4 in the long jump and 56.19 seconds in the 400-meter run at the WIAC Championship held May 3-4 in Platteville. She won both events at the league championship as the Titans placed fifth in the team standings with 69 points.
Wrensch, who finished third with a measurement of 18-11 3/4 in the long jump at the Division III Indoor Championship held March 8-9 in Boston, Mass., is competing in the long jump at outdoor nationals for the second time and in the 400-meter run for the first. Wrensch placed 21st with a distance of 17-7 1/2 in the long jump at last year's Division III Outdoor Championship held in La Crosse.
Maya Hammonds of Johns Hopkins University (Md.) enters the weekend seeded first and Steph Kretlow of University of St. Thomas (Minn.) second in the long jump with marks of 19-5 1/2 and 19-4 1/4, respectively.
In the 400-meter run, Sarah King of George Fox University (Ore.) secured the championship's top seed with a time of 55.01 seconds. Kaylee Jones of Nebraska Wesleyan University is seeded second to King with a time of 55.31 seconds. King finished fourth and Jones fifth in the event at last year's meet.
Wrensch and her three other 1,600-meter relay companions will all compete in the event at the Division III Championship for the first time. The group qualified for this year's meet with a fourth-place performance of 3:58.30 at the WIAC Championship.
Loras College (Iowa) is seeded first in the 1,600-meter relay with a time of 3:46.35 and Nebraska Wesleyan University second at 3:46.61.
Samuels is throwing the shot put at the Division III Championship for the third consecutive year. She achieved her qualifying measurement with a season-best toss of 47-4 1/4 at the UW-Whitewater Rex Foster Twilight Invitational held April 5. Reyna Ta'amu of University of Redlands (Calif.) is seeded first and Erica Oawster of UW-Eau Claire second in the event with a distances of 48-0 3/4 and 47-5 3/4, respectively. Ta'amu was a fourth-place finisher at last year's championship.
Samuels, who received all-region third team honors in helping the UW-Oshkosh women's basketball team to a WIAC championship and a Division III postseason berth this past winter, finished 12th with a distance of 44-6 3/4 in the shot put at the 2017 Division III Championship and sixth with a toss of 46-8 at the 2018 meet. She took second place at this year's WIAC Championship with a measurement of 45-9.
Last year, Samuels accounted for all three of UW-Oshkosh's team points as the Titans placed 59th among the 80 programs that scored at the Division III Championship.
George Fox University and University of Massachusetts Boston shared the 2018 Division III crown with 44 points apiece. The top five teams also included third-place Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.) with 38 points, fourth-place Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges (Calif.) with 36 and fifth-place Emory University (Ga.) with 35.
2017 champion Washington University in St. Louis enters this year's Division III Championship ranked first in nation by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Following the Bears in the rankings are Williams College (Mass.) in second, Loras College in third, George Fox University in fourth and Johns Hopkins University in fifth. UW-Oshkosh is ranked 20th nationally.
UW-Oshkosh, which owns a division-record nine national outdoor championships, has scored at least three points at 31 of the past 32 NCAA outdoor meets. The Titans claimed Division III titles in 1990, 1991, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2011. UW-Oshkosh also has nine runner-up finishes and three third-place showings in program history.