On Wisconsin: Mount Union to Send 17 to NCAA Track & Field Championships at UW-LaCrosse

On Wisconsin: Mount Union to Send 17 to NCAA Track & Field Championships at UW-LaCrosse

University of Mount Union will send 17 student-athletes to the NCAA Division III Championships this coming Thursday - Saturday, May 23-25 in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

The meet will be held at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse and the top eight finishers in each event earn All-American honors.  The top 20 male  and top 22 female times/marks in each event and top 16 relay teams have qualified for the meet.

Ten men will compete headlined by sophomores Tyler Mettille (Canfield/Canfield) and Chase Swisher (Lewis Center/Olentangy Orange) who have qualified in three different events.

Mettille, the Great Lakes Region Track Athlete of the Year, has top time in the 400 meter hurdles (51.48).  A year ago, he competed in the same event at the national meet and missed the finals by .06 seconds.

Swisher is slated to compete in the long jump where he is seeded 19th, and the duo are on both the 4x400 meter relay team (seeded eighth - 3:13.76) and the 4x100 meter relay team (seeded 15th - 41.74).

A pair of freshmen in Chad Gentry (Lousiville/Louisville) and Tyler Sparks (Norwalk/Norwalk) join Mettille and Swisher on the 4x400 team while senior Ryan Kohler (Minerva/Minerva) and junior Bryan Whitlock(Rochester, N.Y./School of the Arts) are the other two members of the 4x100 team.

Junior Alex Kovalik (Aurora/Aurora) is seeded 15th in the decathlon (6320 pts.).  Kovalik finished sixth and earned All-American honors in the decathlon a year ago which includes 10 events -- the 100 meter hurdles, shot put, discus, javelin, long jump, pole vault, 100 meter dash, high jump, 1500 meters and 400 meters.

Two Purple Raiders will compete in the same event as freshman Paul Mendy (Gaillon, France) and Sam Ludgood (Webster, N.Y./Webster Schroeder) participate in the triple jump.  Mendy is seeded eighth (48-1.25) while Ludgood, who was 12th in the event at the national meet in 2011, is seeded 19th (47-7.75).

Sophomore Sean Donnelly (Willoughby/Willoughby South) has qualified in the hammer throw and is seeded 12th (187-7). Donnelly was an All-American in the shot put last year with a fifth place finish and also competed in the discus a year ago.

A Mount Union male thrower has earned All-American honors eight of the last 11 years.

On the women's side, seven Raiders will compete that are headlined by senior Mary Mahoney (Ashtabula/St. John-St. Paul).

Mahoney, the two-time Great Lakes Region Track Athlete of the Year, enters her final national meet ranked No. 1 in the nation in the 400 meters (54.73) -- an event she won the national championship in this past winter at the NCAA Indoor Championships -- and is No. 2 in the 200 meters (24.28) -- the event in which she is the defending national outdoor champion.

She will also run on the 4x400 meter relay team with senior Daryn Herman (Fairview Park/Fairview), junior Lisa Brasdovich (Columbia Station/Columbia) and sophomore Courtney Reese (Cleveland/Cornerstone Christian) which is the top ranked team with a time of 3:46.36.

Mahoney, Herman and Reese were part of the 4x400 meter relay that earned All-American honors with a fourth place finish a the national meet a year ago.

Mahoney also finished the year with the top ranked time in the 100 meters but will not compete in the event.

Herman will also compete in the 400 meter hurdles and is seeded 19th (1:02.54) while Reese will join Mahoney in the 400 meters as she is seeded 22nd (57.09).

The 4x100 meter relay team that consists of Brasdovich, junior Taylor Ruffing (Attica/Seneca East), sophomore Taylor Coghlan (Twinsburg/Twinsburg) and freshman Veronica Clutter (Geneva/Geneva) have made the meet and are seeded 10th (47.64).

Clutter has also qualified and is seeded 20th (4465 pts) in the heptatlon which includes seven events -- 60 meter dash, long jump, shot put, high jump, 60 meter hurdles, pole vault and 1000 meters.