MIT Sending 15 Student-Athletes to NCAA Outdoor Nationals

MIT Sending 15 Student-Athletes to NCAA Outdoor Nationals

Indianapolis, Ind. (May 23) -- The NCAA has announced the final qualifiers for the 2017 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championship as 10 MIT women and five MIT men will take part in the three-day event. The meet will take place at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.

On the women's side, juniors Hannah Chen (Los Gatos, Calif.) and Ariela Slutsky (Weston, Fla.) both qualified in two events to lead the Engineers. Chen qualified in both the 100-meter high hurdles and the 400-meter intermediate hurdles as she is seeded 12th and sixth, respectively. For Slutsky, she is the No. 12 seed in the discus and No. 18 in the hammer throw as she is appearing in the NCAA's for the second straight season. For Chen, she is making her third straight NCAA outdoor championship appearance.

Senior Maryann Gong (Livermore, Calif.), a 15-time All-American entering the championship, qualified as the No. 6 seed in the 5,000 meters in a time of 16:52.36. Freshman Jenna Melanson (Woodland, Wash.) has excelled in the outdoor season and is the fifth seed in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in an MIT freshman-record time of 10:43.41. Junior Nneoma Okonkwo (Lagos, Nigeria) comes into the championship as the No. 9 seed in the long jump after capturing the NEICAAA, New England D3 and NEWMAC titles in the event.

Senior Jackie Vahey (Winchester, Mass.) earns her third straight NCAA Championship appearance as she comes in as the No. 15 seed in the hammer throw. The 2016 USTFCCCA New England Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year, Vahey qualified in the hammer as a sophomore and last year competed in the discus at the NCAA's.

In the pole vault, the Engineers have a pair of qualifiers in senior Jennifer Tylock (Shrewsbury, Mass.) and sophomore Kari Stromhaug (Vestal, N.Y.). Tylock comes in as the No. 18 seed, while Stromhaug is seeded 22nd as she looks to follow up on her indoor All-American honors from the winter. Junior Mary Eccles (Wahaiwa, Hawaii) competes in her second straight NCAA outdoor championship as she is seeded 18th after claiming the 2017 New England D3 Championship in the 10K.

Freshman Katie Bacher (Macungie, Pa.), who was an indoor All-American in the distance medley relay, is the No. 20 seed in the 1,500 meters as she has a season-best time of 4:34.50. Bacher is one of just three freshmen in the 22-person field for the 1,500.

On the men's side, the Engineers are led by three athletes that are seeded ninth in their respective events. Junior Cody Bratten (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) is the ninth seed in the discus with a throw of 167 feet, five inches as he makes his first appearance at the NCAA National Championship. Sophomore Dennis Maloney (New Albany, Ohio) will appear in his first outdoor nationals as he is seeded ninth in the 10,000 meters in a time of 30:07.93, while sophomore Aidan Gilson (Florence, Mass.) is the ninth seed in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at 9:05.61.

Graduate student Matthew Deyo (Syracuse, N.Y.), who earned All-American honors this season in both cross country and indoor track and field, is ranked as the No. 11 seed in the 5,000 meters as he posted a time of 14:21.28. Freshman Bobby Upton (Wexford, Pa.) caps off a solid rookie season with an appearance in the pole vault as his MIT rookie record clearance of 15 feet, 9.75 inches has him as the No. 20 seed heading to nationals.

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