It's an extension of the school year that six Pipers will gladly accept. Six Hamline tracksters -- Becky Culp, Brenna Coyle, Shawny Kramer, Jack Deichert, Devin Monson and Brennan McKeag -- qualified to compete in the NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships May 24-26 in Claremont, Calif. The contingent of three men and three women will be the second largest MIAC representation in the prestigious field. Even better, three Pipers --Culp, Deichert and Monson -- will compete in two events.
"It's what we were hoping for. This will be one of the bigger groups we have sent to the NCAAs," said Paul Schmaedeke, who is director of the school's Track and Field Operations and also serves as the men's coach. "Once you get there, you find everybody is pretty close. I know this will sound like a cliché but it really does come to whoever is hitting on all cylinders that day."
Culp, a junior, will battle in the Discus (she ranks 10th in the country at 146-6 feet) and the Shot Put (20th, 43-5 3/4). Coyle, a senior, is 10th in the Hammer Throw (173-2). Kramer, one of the few freshmen in the field, is next on the list at 11th (172-11). The latter pair are the only MIAC entrants in their event.
Culp was named Outstanding Field Athlete for her double win in the Discus and the Shot Put at the recent MIAC Outdoor meet in Moorhead. In March, Coyle made the All-America team for her seventh place finish in the Weight Throw at the NCAA Indoor Meet in Grinnell, Iowa in March.
It is also the second year in a row the pair have advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Meet. Last year, Culp was 17th in the Discus and Coyle came in 22nd in the Hammer.
Monson and Deichert will have their running shoes on in California. The seniors will each compete in two lengthy running races. Monson ranks fourth in the country in the 10,000 Meters (29:37.13) and fifth in the 5,000 Meters (14:12.57). Both times are school records.
Deichert's 1,500 Meters time of 3:49.56 broke a 35-year old school record. He will also join Monson in the 5000 Meter race (13th, 14:26.99). Both Deichert and Monson were members of the Piper team that ran 17th at last fall's NCAA's D-III Cross Country Championships.
McKeag, also a senior, will heave the Hammer. His best effort this year of 190-11 ranks 11th in the country. This will also be his second appearance at the NCAAs. He earned a spot on the All-American team when he was eighth in this event in 2011.
McKeag barely missed joining Culp, Deichert and Monson in doing double duty. His Shot Put performance of 53-6 1/4 feet missed qualifying by inches.
To see the entire field of women's NCAA Championship qualifiers, click here.
To see the entire field of men's NCAA Championship qualifiers, click here.
To see the schedule of events at the NCAA Meet, click here.