Track and Field: Three Event Titles Lead Mount Union to National Title at NCAA Championships

Mount Union - 2018 NCAA Division III Track and Field National Champions
Mount Union - 2018 NCAA Division III Track and Field National Champions

LA CROSSE, Wis. – Three national titles on Saturday helped propel Mount Union to its second outdoor track and field national title at 2018 NCAA Division III Championships Saturday at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

It was the third national title in track and field for the Purple Raiders and like each of the other two, an outdoor title in 2014 and indoor title earlier this year, it came down to a win in the final event – the 4x400 relay.

Junior James Roth (Massillon Perry), senior Tyler Neff (Navarre / Fairless), junior Clark Etzler (Elida) and sophomore AJ Digby (Tontogany / Otsego) ran a championship and school record time of 3:08.10 forthe win.

Digby ran two more events on the day and scored a win the 400 meter title with a time of 46.07. It is his first individual event national title and his time is the fifth fastest in NCAA Division III history and breaks a school record of 46.66 that has stood since 1966 by Nate Hawthorne.

He also combined with sophomore Darian Littlejohn (Fulton, Md. / Reservoir), senior Josh Weber (Wadsworth) and freshman Malik Britt (Bossier City, La. / Airplane) to place ninth in the 4x100 meter relay.

Sophomore Mason Plant (Shreve / Triway) was behind with three hurdles to go but rallied to win the 110 meter hurdles with a school record time of 14.22. He is now a four-time All-American (two indoor, two outdoor) with also a national title in the 60 meter hurdles indoors earlier this year.

Mount Union also got All-American performances (top eight finishes) in seventh place finishes from sophomore Matt Keim (Bolivar / Tusky Valley) in the pole vault (16-0.75), sophomore Sean Sherman (Franklin / Bishop Fenwick) in the shot put (54-1.25) and senior Jaquill Scott (East Hanover, N.J. / Hanover Park) in the javelin (205-6).

On the women's side, Mount Union got an All-American performance from freshman Alexianna Johnson (Dover) in the long jump (18-8).

It is Mount Union's 17 national title with 13 in football, 1 in men's cross country (1974), 1 in men's indoor track and field (2018), 2 in men's outdoor track and field (2014, 2018).