Men's Track & Field: Mettille Moves on in 400 Hurdles & 4x400 Relay at NCAA Championships

Tyler Mettille (Photo by Ryan Baker)
Tyler Mettille (Photo by Ryan Baker)

LaCROSSE, Wis. -- Mount Union sophomore Tyler Mettille (Canfield/Canfield) made the finals in the 400 hurdles and helped the 4x400 meter relay team make the finals at the first day of the NCAA Division III Track & Field Championships in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

Mettille won his heat and ran the second-best time of the day running 52.09 in the 400 meter hurdles.  The finals are slated for 5:55 pm (eastern) Saturday.

Mettille also teamed up with fellow sophomore Chase Swisher (Lewis Center/Olentangy Orange) and freshmen Tyler Sparks (Norwalk/Norwalk) and Chad Gentry (Louisville/Louisville) with the eighth best time in the preliminaries of the 4x400 meter relay at 3:13.50.  In fact, the Purple Raiders time in the event knocked off a 38-year old school record set in 1975 by Willie Jofferion, Jim Freund, Dave Ludwig, Chuck Larsuel (3:13.64).  They will run in the finals at 7:30 pm Saturday night.

 The men's 4x100 meter relay team of Mettille, Swisher, junior Bryan Whitlock (Rochester, N.Y./School of Arts) and senior Ryan Kohler (Minerva/Minerva) ran a season-best time of 41.62 but finished in 12th place and did not make the finals.

On Friday, sophomore Sean Donnelly (Willoughby/Willoughby South) competes in the hammer throw in which he 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.

On Saturday, two 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).