Friday, February 21, 2020

Do You Believe in Miracles? YES

D3Playbook
FEBRUARY 21, 2020 | written by STEVE ULRICH
your must-read briefing on what's driving the day in NCAA Division III

Our goal is to keep you - the influencers in DIII athletics - apprised of what's happening around Division III - the games, polls, news, happenings, awards, calendar of events, and much more. We hope you enjoy d3Playbook and that you'll share this with your friends, colleagues and co-workers.
>>  Good Friday Morning!  40 years ago tomorrow, Team USA made ice hockey history that we commemorate today.

>> Today's Word Count: 1,472. Smart, concise. An easy Friday morning read (and history lesson) that's less than 6 minutes.

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1.  Do You Believe in Miracles? YES
 

Image result for 1980 miracle on ice SI cover

Simply put, it remains the most amazing sporting event I've seen in my six decades on the planet. To those under 45, all you know is the movie, "Miracle." To those above 50, you probably remember where you were when you heard that American collegians defeated the powerful Russian National Team, 4-3, in the 1980 Olympic semifinal on Feb. 22 in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Repeat. American collegians.

Yes, this isn't a story about Division III. It's a story about perseverance. A story about dedication. It's a story for the ages.

>> Quotable: "(Head coach) Herb (Brooks) was really quite brilliant. There’s always that saying, “I wasn’t looking for the best players. I was looking for the right players.” He had a character in mind who he wanted, a type of personality, and it had a lot to do with how he was brought up. He had this unique ability to see talent inside people, see an attitude about them and bring them to a level that they weren’t even capable of imagining. - Jim Craig, goaltender

>> Quotable II: "He said, “The guys we’re going to have on this team have been competing for national championships for years, and they just don’t like each other. So the only way I know how to make them a team is for them to really dislike me.”" - Craig Patrick, assistant coach

>> Situational Awareness: On Feb. 9, 1980, days before the Olympics begin, Team USA played an exhibition game at Madison Square Garden against the Soviet Union, considered the heavy gold-medal favorite and the world’s best hockey team. They crushed the Americans 10-3.

>> What They're Saying: "In Texas, California, Arizona, places that weren’t hockey hotbeds then, it was more about America and the flag and The Star-Spangled Banner and what a great country we have. I think the “USA! USA!” chants that we hear all the time now at sporting events all started in Lake Placid." - Mike Eruzione, captain

>> Quotable III: "I got unbelievably lucky. I’m not thinking about a line, so whatever I said at that point was going to come out of my heart. I’ve got five seconds to let whatever emotion is in me come out and say the words. I can’t believe those words came out and those words live. But that was serendipitous. That’s what came out of my heart and not my brain.” - Al Michaels, announcer

>> Quotable IV: "So as he was shrieking it out, it was the shiver of the ‘Do you believe in miracles?’ and then the punctuation of it with the pause and then…Yes! The ‘Do you believe in miracles?’ is what gets remembered and what comes to stand for that particular moment. But it was the punctuation of it with the ‘Yes!’ that just was the real, ultimate punchline to it. He got that just right.” - Ken Dryden, color analyst

>> Be Smart: "Because the game is played at 5:00, ABC airs it on tape delay, meaning the U.S. players can watch the game they just played hours earlier." (Editor's Note) I remember hearing the news, leaving my brother's basketball game, and returning home to watch.

>> The Final Word: "A miracle is a catchy name, and it sounds nice, but it was an accomplishment by a group of guys who believed, who worked hard, who sacrificed a lot and accomplished something that was so amazing." - Eruzione

>> Read More from Matt Larkin, The Hockey News
>> The Final 60 Seconds
>> What if there had been a rebound on Eruzione's game-winning goal - John Harrington (Saint John's HC, 1993-2008)
>> Listen to Al Michaels talk about the medal ceremony
>> The Olympic Experience as seen by Mark Johnson
>> ESPN's SportsCentury
2.   Demers' Historic Season

eric-demers-ncaa-leading-scorer
by John Walters, Sports Illustrated
"Five … Six … Seven …

Eric Demers launches not shots but repeating rainbows, and their arcs overlap, tracing a parabola as pure as a starlit New England winter’s evening. Such a night finds college basketball’s leading scorer hoisting dozens of three-pointers inside a converted mechanic’s garage in Salem, Mass. The fifth-year senior guard at (Division III) Gordon College has conscripted a visitor to rebound, and his new bride, Lauren, to feed him. The exercise is rhythmic and, for his aides, relatively effortless.

Eight … Nine … Ten ... Demers averages 33.3 points per game and has eclipsed 30 in 15 of his last 15 outings, with a season-high 49 back in December, against Nichols College. That scoring average, though? It should be higher. Last November, in an exhibition against Hartford that by NCAA rule counts on the record books for only the Division I side, Demers scored 42 points that are not reflected in his average. “They were triple-teaming me,” says Demers, who stands 6' 1". “Do they really need three D-I dudes to guard a single D-III guy?”

Has anyone outside the idyllic Gordon College campus been watching?

With even 29 points in the Fighting Scots’ regular season-ender against Nichols on Saturday (before a Commonwealth Coast Conference tournament game next Tuesday), Demers, a senior, will become only the sixth player this century, at any level, to average 33 or more across a season.

>> What They're Saying: "Peter McLelland, a Gordon alumnus who chronicles the team’s endeavors on his blog, Writing Scots, assesses the nation’s leading scorer thusly: “Eric doesn’t have a ‘range.’ Wherever he gets the ball, that’s it.”"

>> Continue Reading about the nation's top scorer


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3. Weekend Preview  

Basketball (W) D3hoops.com
  1. Tufts (Wesleyan)
  2. Hope (#23 Trine)
  3. DePauw (at Wooster)
  4. UW-Whitewater (at UW-Stout)
  5. Bowdoin (Hamilton)
  6. Amherst (Bates)
  7. Whitman (FRI at Linfield)
  8. Wartburg (at Dubuque)
  9. Transylvania (Bluffton)
  10. Loras (at Nebraska Wesleyan)
>> Others to Watch: Vassar at Ithaca (FRI); St. Elizabeth at Keystone; Regis at St. Joseph's (Maine); UW-Superior at Bethany Lutheran.

Basketball (M) - D3hoops.com
  1. Swarthmore (at McDaniel)
  2. Randolph-Macon (at Guilford)
  3. St. Thomas (St. Mary's)
  4. Saint John's (at Bethel)
  5. Wittenberg (Hiram)
  6. Nebraska Wesleyan (Loras)
  7. UW-Platteville (at UW-Stevens Point)
  8. Emory (FRI at Carnegie Mellon; SUN at Case Western)
  9. Mount Union (at Capital)
  10. Johns Hopkins (Haverford)
>> Others to Watch: #22 Babson at #15 Springfield; #25 Brockport at Oswego; Wesley at Gwynedd Mercy; Nazareth at St. John Fisher; Middlebury at Trinity (Conn.).


Ice Hockey (M) - USCHO
  1. Norwich (Castleton)
  2. Geneseo (at Brockport)
  3. Utica (FRI vs. King's; SAT vs. #13 Wilkes)
  4. UW-Eau Claire
  5. Hobart (Skdimore)
  6. Adrian (FRI/SAT vs. Aurora)
  7. Trinity (FRI/SAT vs. Wesleyan)
  8. Babson (Southern Maine)
  9. U. of New England (FRI vs. Wentworth; SAT at Becker)
  10. Lake Forest (FRI/SAT vs. Trine)
>> Others to Watch: Elmira at Stevenson (FRI); Endicott at Curry; Amherst at #12 Williams.

Ice Hockey (W) - USCHO
  1. Plattsburgh (FRI/SAT at Morrisville)
  2. Middlebury (FRI/SAT at Bowdoin)
  3. UW-Eau Claire (FRI/SAT vs. UW-River Falls)
  4. Gustavus Adolphus (FRI/SAT vs. Bethel)
  5. Elmira (FRI vs. Utica; SAT vs. Nazareth)
  6. Norwich (vs. Salem State)
  7. UW-River Falls (FRI/SAT vs. UW-Eau Claire)
  8. Hamline (FRI/SAT vs. St. Catherine)
  9. Endicott (FRI/SAT vs. U. of New England)
  10. Adrian
>> Others to Watch: Augsburg vs. St. Thomas (FRI/SAT); Nazareth at William Smith.

all games/matches Saturday unless indicated

4.  Comings and Goings


5.   Weekend's Best

Volleyball on Apple iOS 13.3  #3 NYU at #1 Springfield.

Lacrosse on Apple iOS 13.3  Men's games: #10 Gettysburg at #1 Salisbury; #3 Cabrini at #13 Lynchburg.

Lacrosse on Apple iOS 13.3  Women's game: #7 Franklin & Marshall at #8 Washington and Lee.

Tennis on Apple iOS 13.3  Women's Matches: #19 NYU vs. #25 Swarthmore (FRI); #18 Trinity (Texas) vs. #32 Linfield; #21 Cal Tech vs. #22 Southwestern (SUN).

Tennis on Apple iOS 13.3  Men's Matches: #15 Mary Washington vs. #22 Sewanee; #13 Trinity (Texas) vs. #16 Pomona-Pitzer (SUN).

Baseball on Apple iOS 13.3  #7 Cortland vs. #13 Salisbury.

Softball on Apple iOS 13.3  #13 East Texas Baptist vs. Howard Payne; #11 Linfield vs. La Verne.

6.  1 Inspirational Thing 



Truly ... a miracle on ice.

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Thursday, February 20, 2020

Pilot Takes New Approach to Sports

D3Playbook
FEBRUARY 20, 2020 | written by STEVE ULRICH
your must-read briefing on what's driving the day in NCAA Division III

Our goal is to keep you - the influencers in DIII athletics - apprised of what's happening around Division III - the games, polls, news, happenings, awards, calendar of events, and much more. We hope you enjoy d3Playbook and that you'll share this with your friends, colleagues and co-workers.

>> Good Thursday Morning!  Let's look at the day in DIII.

>> Today's Word Count: 1,414. Brief, concise. Easy to digest.

>> Thanks for reading D3Playbook. Please recommend us to a friend or co-worker.

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1. Pilot Takes New Approach to Sports

by Brian Burnsed, NCAA Champion Magazine

"Not yet 25, Jennifer Baker already had achieved the loftiest of her goals. After four years as an aeronautical engineering major at Navy and nearly three more in flight school, she earned the right to fly F/A-18 Hornets, which can cut through the air at more than 1,100 mph. Only months later, though, adventurous dream job in hand, migraines disqualified her from ever flying again. Only a few years removed from college, she would have to find a new path.

Now athletics director at Johns Hopkins, Baker has a work life that seems demonstrably different from the time she spent roaring through the sky, but she remains just as fulfilled, perhaps even more so. “The reality is that every job I’ve had has been me trying something else on that I thought might fit like aviation did,” she says. “And it wasn’t until I landed in college athletics that I felt like, ‘This fits.’ And it fits for the same reasons aviation fit and serving in the Navy fit. Because I’m part of something bigger than myself.”"

After taking on new roles in the Navy and working as a high school math teacher and lacrosse coach, Baker enrolled at Cornell to pursue an MBA in 2010. She left with far more: While in Ithaca, she tacked on a master’s in mechanical engineering, worked as a volunteer assistant lacrosse coach and launched a leadership development program for the team’s athletes. That accomplishment earned her a chance to stay on as a full-time athletics administrator and build a comparable program, now called the Big Red Leadership Institute, for the school’s 500-plus student-athletes.

Her time around college athletes reminded her of the camaraderie she felt as a pilot. “I’m so passionate about the development that happens between ages 18 and 22 as a result of participation in sport,” she says. “It’s life-changing.”

>> Keep Reading

2.  Regional Rankings 

Marion Dietz
Men's Rankings
Atlantic: 1-Stevens, 2-Yeshiva, 3-TCNJ
Central: 1-UW-Platteville, 2-Washington U., 3-Benedictine
East: 1-Brockport, 2-Rensselaer, 3-Hobart
Great Lakes: 1-Mount Union, 2-Marietta, 3-Wittenberg
Mid-Atlantic: 1-Swarthmore, 2-Johns Hopkins, 3-Christopher Newport
Northeast: 1-Middlebury, 2-Springfield, 3-WPI
South: 1-Emory, 2-Randolph-Macon, 3-Centre
West: 1-St. Thomas, 2-Nebraska Wesleyan, 3-Saint John's

Women's Rankings
Atlantic: 1-Marymount, 2-Rowan, 3-Cabrini
Central: 1-UW-Whitewater, 2-Chicago, 3-Wheaton
East: 1-New Paltz, 2-Ithaca, 3-Cortland
Great Lakes: 1-Hope, 2-Baldwin Wallace, 3-DePauw
Mid-Atlantic: 1-Messiah, 2-Scranton, 3-Widener
Northeast: 1-Tufts, 2-Amherst, 3-Western New England
South: 1-Oglethorpe, 2-Trinity (Texas), 3-William Peace
West: 1-Loras, 2-Wartburg, 3-Bethel


3.  The Elam Ending. Coming Soon?


Joel Embiid and Anthony Davis battle for a tip-off during the NBA All-Star Game; Luka Doncic looks on in the background.
by Nick Greene, Slate.com
If you watched the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, you would have noticed something different: It was legitimately exciting. These exhibitions aren’t usually showcases for effort or defense, but, come the fourth quarter, the world’s best basketball players were fighting tooth and nail for every possession, and Team LeBron edged out Team Giannis, 157–155. It was the best All-Star Game in years, and much of the credit goes to Nick Elam, an educational leadership professor at Ball State University. He is the father of the “Elam Ending,” a rule that removes the clock at the end of a game and replaces it with a target score. The game ends when one of the teams hits the score.

Elam came up with idea in 2007, but it wasn’t incorporated by a professional league until 2017, when he convinced The Basketball Tournament (or TBT)—an annual street ball-inspired league—to give it a shot. Nick Elam’s idea has never been featured on a bigger stage than the NBA All-Star Game, and on Monday I called him to discuss his invention’s big break.
  • I absolutely thought that it would make players play harder. If you watch, say, a youth basketball game, and I’m talking like little little kids, like third grade gym class or something, even if it’s a timed game, those players aren’t worrying about the clock. They’re just trying their best to score and defend. But the more you go to higher levels of basketball, then players are conscious of that clock. If you get rid of the clock at the end of the game, it takes away that electronic third party, and now it truly is my team against your team. Let’s see who’s better.
  • Someone once told me that it’s hard to get 90 percent of Twitter to like free beer and ice cream. For 90 percent of people to speak positively about this concept really says something. As far as ending on a free throw goes, I would much rather see a game end on a high-flying dunk or a crisp 3-pointer, but I think if you over-regulate the format in an effort to prevent games from ending on a free throw, I think you’re going to end up with a lot of unintended consequences.
  • I’m also a big tennis fan, and I get goosebumps when it gets to match point or championship point. I never want to see a match or especially a championship end on a double fault, but it’s just one of those things. It’s part of the sport.
>> Read the edited for length and clarity interview.


4.  Net Generation Tennis on Apple iOS 13.3

ITA-NTC-Indoor-MenDIII-2020-Logo

The 20th annual ITA Division III National Men's Team Indoor Championship will be hosted by Gustavus Adolphus this weekend. The tournament showcases eight of the top teams in a three-day event to crown an indoor national champion.

Friday's Quarterfinals
#1 Emory vs. #20 Gustavus Adolphus
#8 Brandeis vs. #9 Washington U.
#2 Claremont-M-S vs. #12 Case Western
#4 Chicago (defending champion) vs. #11 Kenyon


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5.   About Last Night Basketball on Apple iOS 13.3

Vawn Lord  (file photo)

  In a top-10 showdown, No. 8 Wartburg (21-3) went on the road and toppled No. 10 Loras (21-3), 79-76, in overtime. Payton Draper had 15 including two free throws that forced the extra period.

  Hanover (17-6) upset No. 9 Transylvania (22-2), 64-57, behind a 26-point effort from Alexis Nall. The Panthers and the Pioneers are tied for first place in the HCAC.

  Hilbert's Emily Gawlak poured in a career-high 40 points but it was not enough as the Hawks (18-6) fell at Penn State Behrend (15-9), 67-64.

  No. 11 Bethel (23-1) clinched the MIAC regular-season title for the first time since 1994 by defeating No. 14 Augsburg (20-4), 71-55. Taite Anderson posted a double-double with 25 points and 12 boards.

  Simpson (12-12) took No. 6 Nebraska Wesleyan (21-3) to the wood shed, handing the Prairie Wolves an 86-59 loss. Kyle Wagner (25) and Conor Riordan (23) combined for 48 points.

  Jake Ross scored 32 points and became just the 19th player in Division III history to surpass the 2,500-point plateau as No. 15 Springfield (21-3) defeated No. 21 WPI, 80-64.

  Westfield State (17-7) senior Vawn Lord (pictured) lit up the scoreboard with 44 points in an 86-63 victory against Salem State.


6.  A Progressive Game Baseball on Apple iOS 13.3



The athletics departments from Oberlin College and John Carroll University announced that the Yeomen and Blue Streaks will play at Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians, on Monday, April 27. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. with gates opening to the public at 6 p.m.

Tickets for the game are free. However, a printed ticket is required for admission and can be obtained here.

The Yeomen last played at Progressive Field (then Jacobs Field) on April 20, 2005 when they beat the Spartans of Case Western Reserve University, 7-3.

This will be the seventh game John Carroll has played at Progressive Field, going 3-3 in its previous six contests. In 2003, JCU's Eric Floriani made history as the first collegiate baseball player to hit a home run at what was then known as Jacobs Field in a 9-2 win over Mount Union.

7.  1 Goodbye Thing Airplane Departure on Apple iOS 13.3


Photo: Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Say goodbye to Gate 35X: Construction has started on replacing the D.C. rite of passage with a new concourse, DCist reports.
  • The airport describes "Gate 35X as 'less-than-pleasing' and 'infamously congested.'"
  • "But any one of the 6,000 daily passengers who journey through the gate—which is really just a claustrophobic bus terminal that funnels passengers to the tarmac—would likely recognize it by these descriptors: a 'crime against humanity,' a dreaded 'hell gate,' 'punishment,' 'the worst gate in the country.'"
courtesy of Axios

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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Champs Committee Recap

D3Playbook
FEBRUARY 19, 2020 | written by STEVE ULRICH
your must-read briefing on what's driving the day in NCAA Division III
Our goal is to keep you - the influencers in DIII athletics - apprised of what's happening around Division III - the games, polls, news, happenings, awards, calendar of events, and much more. We hope you enjoy D3Playbook and that you'll share this with your friends, colleagues and co-workers.
>> Yep. It's Hump Day.

>> Today's Word Count: 1,094. An easy morning read. Less than four minutes.

>> Thanks for reading D3Playbook. Please recommend us to a friend or co-worker.

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1. Champs Committee Recap


Image result for ncaa division III championships

The Division III Championships Committee recommended allowing schools in year three of the provisional or reclassifying process, but not year two, to count toward a conference’s waiting period for automatic qualification in a division championship.

The division adopted legislation at the 2020 NCAA Convention that eliminated the fourth year of the membership process. Previously, schools in the last two years of the provisional or reclassifying process could count as one of the seven member schools a conference needs to have for two consecutive years before qualifying for an automatic bid in a championship.

>> Expansion: Committee members supported the possible expansion of the field hockey and men’s lacrosse brackets by the 2020-21 academic year. If the changes are approved by the Division III Strategic Planning and Finance Committee and the Division III Management Council, the field hockey bracket would grow by two teams (24 to 26), and the men’s lacrosse bracket also would add two teams (36 to 38).

>> Regional Realignment: The committee forwarded a proposed regional alignment model that would become effective Aug. 1, 2021. The proposed modifications would have to be approved by the Division III Management Council before they can be implemented. The realignment model was finalized after 18 months of deliberation within the governance structure and with membership input, primarily from conference commissioners and sport committees, acquired throughout the model’s development.

>> Quotable: “I would like to thank the Conference Commissioners group for their hard work to make this happen,” said Kiki Jacobs, committee chair and director of athletics at Roger Williams. “We appreciate all of the feedback we received. Moving forward this new model will help balance the number of schools in each region so regional advisory committees can better assess teams each week.”

>> Read More from the NCAA

2. Everybody Into The Pool 2.0 

Men's Swimming Captures 13th Straight AMCC Championship
Conference championship season enters its final stage as four conference meets get underway today. Five more begin on Thursday, while another more starts on Friday.

Follow your favorite conference here.

What We're Watching (M)
  • The NESCAC championship pits four teams in the top 25 - Williams (8), Tufts (10), Amherst (12) and Bates (24).
  • No. 11 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, No. 13 Pomona-Pitzer and No. 25 California Lutheran will battle for the SCIAC championship.
  • No. 4 MIT will look for its 12th consecutive NEWMAC crown but will face challenges from No. 15 Coast Guard and WPI.
  • Penn State Behrend goes for its 14th straight league title but first in a combined AMCC/Empire 8 championship meet.
  • Geneseo seeks to extend its six-year reign in the SUNYAC.
  • Rensselaer looks to make it five straight in the Liberty League.
What We're Watching (W)
  • No. 13 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and No. 15 Pomona-Pitzer will battle for the SCIAC title.
  • No. 19 Geneseo looks for lucky title No. 13 in a row in the SUNYAC.
  • No. 6 MIT is in search of its 10th straight NEWMAC championship.
  • The Centennial will have a new champion as six-time defending champion Ursinus will not compete.


3.  Big Wednesday

shelby drive

It's the penultimate night of the regular season around Division III basketball as three games involve a pair of Top-25 teams, while a number of others pit teams fighting for first place in their conference.

Women
#8 Wartburg at #10 Loras - watch
#14 Augsburg at #11 Bethel - watch
#9 Transylvania at Hanover - watch
Springfield at Babson - watch

Men
#15 Springfield at #21 WPI - watch
#1 Swarthmore at Haverford - watch
#5 Wittenberg at Wabash - watch
#7 UW-Platteville at UW-Eau Claire - watch
La Roche at Pitt-Greensburg - watch
Drew at Scranton - watch


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4.  About Last Night 

Image

  Emmanuel head women's basketball coach Andy Yosinoff won the 850th game of his storied career as the Saints defeated Lasell, 68-62. He is the first DIII, the sixth active and the 12th all-time coach to reach the plateau.

  Kenny Bogus scored 20 points as Benedictine (20-4) took over first place in the NACC with an 83-55 rout of Wisconsin Lutheran (18-6).

  Whitworth (20-4) won the battle of the whits and moved into sole possession of first place in the NWC with an 87-82 win at Whitman (18-6). Ben College tallied 23 while Sam Lees added 21 and 13 caroms.

  New Paltz (20-3) locked down the top seed in the SUNYAC with a 74-68 overtime win against Cortland (19-4). Marion Dietz led the way with 27, while Paige Niemeyer forced the extra time with clutch free throws with 3.8 remaining.

  Husson (17-8) finished unbeaten in NAC play for the first time since 2010 with a 52-49 victory over visiting Maine Maritime (20-5). Bailey Donovan led the way with 21 points and 13 boards.

Ice Hockey on Apple iOS 13.3  Emily Olson had a hat trick and Katie McCoy made 34 saves as No. 4 Gustavus Adolphus (18-3-2) blanked UW-Superior (15-7-1), 3-0.

Softball on Apple iOS 13.3  Camille Scott threw the first no-hitter in program history as McMurry defeated University of the Southwest, 8-0. She walked two batters and struck out nine in her gem. See a post-game interview.

5.  Rankings




>> Welcome: Connecticut College, Saint John's, Geneseo, Amherst, John Carroll, Tufts.
>> Movers and Shakers: RPI (+10), Williams (+9), St. John Fisher (+7).

Person Running: Medium Skin Tone on Apple iOS 13.3  UW-Oshkosh is atop the national rating index in the regular season for the first time since 2013. The Titans have 12 marks listed among the top-10 in the nation, including Jonathan Wilburn's 15.32m (50-3 1/4) in the triple jump. Loras has its best ranking in program history, while Williams soared nine spots to a program-record No. 4 position.



>> Hello: Redlands, Trine, John Carroll, Wesleyan, North Central, St. Thomas.
>> Upward Bound: Dubuque (+13), Geneseo (+7), Rochester (+5).

Woman Running: Medium-Light Skin Tone on Apple iOS 13.3  Williams has 14 marks that are ranked in the top-10 nationally across eight events. Emma Egan has the top performance in the high jump (1.76m, 5-9 1/4). Ithaca's Parley Hannan leads DIII in the mile, 3000, and 5000 meters.


6.  Comings and Goings




7.  For The Win



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