Championship Weekend

Middlebury, Salisbury Win Lax Crowns; MIT, La Crosse Take Track Titles; Wellesley Crew Wins Again

MAY 30, 2023 | written by STEVE ULRICH

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1. Thrice As Nice For Middlebury

photo by Keith Lucas

Top-ranked Middlebury captured its third straight NCAA championship and ninth overall with a 17-9 triumph against No. 9 Gettysburg. The Panthers (23-0) won titles in 2019 and 2022, after not competing during the 2020 and 2021 campaigns. Hope Shue was named the Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after finding the back of the net seven times in the finale.


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2. Saving The Day

by Shane Ryan, Golf Digest

“On April 26, at the Carolina Country Club in Spartanburg, S.C., Maycee Kay Aycock and Sarah Marshall cried together in a bathroom. It was a cold, rainy morning, they had just made the turn, and the fatigue from three days of play at the USA South Conference Championship had finally taken its toll. When they overheard another player call them "embarrassing," something cracked. This is rock bottom, they thought. How can it get worse?

It was there that a woman found them crying. Her daughter played for another team, but she could sense they needed a surrogate mother.

"Don't listen to the mean girls," she said. "You two are my heroes. You're the only ones out here having fun."

When the tears ran their course, they realized she was right. When they weren’t having an emotional breakdown, they were having fun. More than that, they had a purpose. Yes, they were playing some truly terrible golf—the kind that’s almost too bad to believe—but they were playing terrible golf for their team, and their conference.”

» Course Knowledge: “With two weeks to go until his first spring tournament, Meredith College head coach Jimmy Hamilton's active roster was down to two. There was another wrinkle, too - the USA South Conference needed six teams to earn an automatic qualifying bid to the Division III championship, and to lose Meredith would mean losing a valuable cushion that they had worked hard to establish. With no better option, Hamilton and his Athletic Director decided to send the email to the college’s undergrads - ‘Calling All Golfers.’ Two responded.

» The Bottom Line: Their first competitive round as collegiate golfers - Maycee Kay Aycock shot 158. Sarah Marshall shot 276.”

» What They’re Saying: "What impressed me is that they were trying to improve," USA South Commissioner Tom Hart said. "Every day. And it struck me because that's the sentence at the bottom of my email signature. 'When we focus on small, incremental improvements instead of perfection, the human spirit takes over.'" He told them they were doing something bigger than themselves - keeping the program in good standing, preserving the status of the conference.”

» The Final Word: This is the best story you will read today. #WhyD3

3. Lucky 13 For Sea Gulls

photo by Hannah Reagle

A six-goal run in the first quarter and holding a high-powered offense to its lowest goal total all season propelled the second-ranked Salisbury University men's lacrosse team to a 17-12 win over top-ranked Tufts for the program's 13th national championship. Brice Bromwell led the Sea Gulls with four goals while Nicholas Ransom matched a career-high with 16 saves. The 13th NCAA Championship matches the Division III record for the most national titles with Hobart.

4. MIT, La Crosse Take Home Titles

MIT Men’s Track and Field

UW-La Crosse Women’s Track and Field

In a meet that saw 11 NCAA Division III championship records fall by the wayside, it was the MIT men and UW-La Crosse women bringing home the national championship trophies.

Men’s Winners

  • Pole Vault: Dominic Mikula (Ithaca), 5.05m (16-6 ¾)

  • Shot Put: Yakob Ekoue (UW-Eau Claire), 17.63m (57-10 ¼)

  • Decathlon: Mitch Stegeman (UW-Eau Claire), 7,165

  • High Jump: Brady Vilvens (Wilmington) and Harry Reinecker-Found (Tufts), 2.08m (6-9 ¾)

  • Steeplechase: Christian Patzka (UW-Whitewater), 8:42.46

  • 4×100 Relay: UW-La Crosse (Smith, Blaskowski, Reichart, Schroeder), 39.96

  • Triple Jump: Shavaughn Allen (Buffalo State), 15.57m (51-1)

  • Hammer Throw: Alex Kristeller (Widener), 63.64m (208-9)

  • 1500: Ryan Wilson (MIT), 3:45.18

  • 110 Hurdles: Enoch Ellis (MIT), 14.22

  • 400: Eric Gregory (Gallaudet), 45.93

  • 100: Sam Blaskowski (UW-La Crosse), 10.13

  • 800: Wilson, 1:48.17

  • 400 Hurdles: Lance Jensen (Geneseo), 50.63

  • 200: Cheickna Traore (Ramapo), 20.25

  • 5000: Alex Phillip (John Carroll), 14:07.39

  • 4×400 Relay: Mount Union (Storm, Gill, Knoch, McBride) 3:07.24

Team Scoring: MIT 60.5, UW-La Crosse 49, Rowan 39.

Women’s Winners

  • Heptathlon: Grace Alley (Loras), 5,278

  • Shot Put: Skye Digman (UW-La Crosse), 15.16m (49-9)

  • Pole Vault: Meghan Matheny (Ithaca), 4.10m (13-5 ¼)

  • Hammer Throw: Alexis Boykin (MIT‚, 59.58m (195-5)

  • Triple Jump: Victoria Kadiri (Johns Hopkins), 13.21m (43-4 ¼)

  • Steeplechase: Aubrie Fisher (Wartburg), 10:15.34

  • 4×100 Relay: Loras (Creasy, Edwards, Lambe, Noland), 45.60

  • 1500: Annika Urban (Emory), 4:22.16

  • 100 Hurdles: Birgen Nelson (Gustavus Adolphus), 13.37

  • 400: Kenadee Wayt (Mount Union), 54.33

  • 100: Michelle Kwafo (Coast Guard), 11.49

  • 800: Emma Kelley (Washington U.), 2:06.47

  • 400 Hurdles: Natalia Sawyer (Buffalo State), 58.66

  • 200: Wayt, 23.95

  • 5000: Kassie Parker (Loras), 16:18.30

  • 4×400 Relay: Loras (Edwards, Noland, Lambe, Pfadenhauer), 3:39.76

Team Scoring: UW-La Crosse 67.5, Loras 58, Washington U. 51


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5. Eight For Marshall

The eight teams are set for the NCAA Division III softball championship beginning Thursday in Marshall, Texas.

Bracket 1

No. 1 Salisbury vs. Moravian
No. 10 Christopher Newport vs. No. 2 Berry

Bracket 2

No. 4 Linfield vs. No. 21 Coe
No. 5 Trine vs. No. 20 Rowan

6. Cedar Rapids, Here We Come

The eight teams are set for the NCAA Division III baseball championship beginning Friday in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Bracket 1

No. 1 Johns Hopkins vs. Misericordia
No. 4 Endicott vs. No. 12 Baldwin Wallace

Bracket 2

No. 2 Salisbury vs. No. 19 East Texas Baptist
No. 6 Lynchburg vs. No. 13 UW-La Crosse

7. Blue Crew Goes Back-to-Back

Wellesley College crew won the 2023 NCAA Division III National Championship on Saturday on the Cooper River. With the team victory, Wellesley captured back-to-back NCAA National Championships for the first time in program history while winning the program's third NCAA title (2016). Blue Crew's varsity eight (V8+) took gold in the V8+ Grand Final and the second varsity eight (2V8+) earned silver in the 2V8+ Grand Final to propel the team to a first place finish in the team standings with 54 points.

8. Lightning Round 

🏈 Football. The NCAA Football Rules Committee has recommended delaying implementation of the first-down clock rule for Division III until 2024, sources told CBS Sports.

🎂 Happy Birthday. Cake and candles for Sam Intrator, MK Geratowski and Sharon Dingman.

Do you know of someone celebrating an upcoming birthday? Drop us a line at [email protected]

9. Comings and Goings

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