(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) – Juniors Erin Alewine and Devin Claypool, along with freshman Meelis Siimson, earned All-American honors with their performances in the high jump and long jump to open up competition at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships.
Alewine started the day in the long jump, clearing 19′ 4.75″ (5.90m) on her second attempt. That jump moved the Jefferson City native from 10th to 6th in the overall standings, where she stayed through to the finals. Alewine passed on all three attempts in the final round, but remained in sixth, picking up three points for the Jennies in the team standings.
In his first NCAA Championships appearance, Siimson started out in third place after his first attempt in the long jump. His mark of 24′ 0.75″ (7.33m) was enough to advance to the finals. The Tallin, Estonia native then improved his jump by five inches in the finals, moving up into second place on his fifth attempt, at 24′ 5.75″ (7.46m).
Claypool, an All-MIAA performer in the high jump, earned his first All-American honor with a fourth place finish. The junior cleared 6′ 11.75″ (2.13m) to become one of only four jumpers remaining, before bowing out at 7′ 1″ (2.16m).
A pair of athletes competed in preliminary events, but failed to qualify for Saturday’s final. Junior Zoe Sharplin placed 11th in the 60-meter hurdles, posting a time of 8.58 seconds. Freshman Kellin Loch finished 13th in the 800-meter run, with a time of 1:53.23.
Senior distance runner Laban Sialo also ran the 5,000-meters, but fell back of the leaders late to finish in 13th. Sialo was the defending national champion in the event, and finished the race in 14:50.51.
Thursday, the men’s and women’s weight throw opened up the NCAA Championships; Sophomore Brooke Swearingin finished in 17th, with a mark of 55′ 3.5″ (16.85m).
The NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships continue Saturday, with the conclusion of the men’s heptathlon and women’s pentathlon, in which a total of five UCM athletes are competing. The Mules and Jennies will also compete in the women’s high jump, men’s triple jump, men’s shot put, and men’s 5,000-meter run.