GENEVA, Ohio – Whitworth University's Andrew Bloom finished third in the men's javelin on the opening day of the 2017 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Thursday at the Spire Institute.
Kayla Leland took second place in her heat of the women's 1,500 meter run and qualified into the finals on Saturday. Sarah Martinez finished fourth in her heat of the women's 400 meter hurdles and just missed qualifying for Saturday's finals.
Bloom, the defending national champion heading into the day, took third in the men's javelin with a throw of 66.39 meters (217'-9.75"). That distance came on his fifth attempt of the day. Bloom went into the finals with the best throw out of the two flights (216'-0.5"). Seth Nonnenmacher of George Fox University earned his first national title with a throw of 69.22 meters (227'-1.25"), which came on his last throw. Mitch Obenrader of Penn State-Behrend was the runner up (66.70 meters – 218'-10").
Bloom, who only took up the javelin in the spring of 2015, has now finished first and third in his two seasons competing at the NCAA Division III championships.
Leland went 4:32.49 in the first heat of the 1,500 to finish in second place behind Bryn McKillop of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (4:32.47). Leland led the field for the first half of the race before McKillop made a move to the front at 800 meters and took a 10-meter lead. Leland nearly caught McKillop down the final stretch. Leland automatically qualified to the finals with her second place finish. The finals of the women's 1,500 meters will be at 9:25 am on Saturday.
Martinez went 1:01.92 to finish fourth in the second of three heats in the women's 400 hurdles. She ended up with the 10th-fastest time in the trials and just missed making the finals by one position and by .05 of a second. Ashley Burgi of Wisconsin-Eau Claire was the last qualifier with a time of 1:01.87.
The meet will continue on Friday as Leland, who is competing in three events this weekend, competes in the trials of the women's 800-meter run. Martinez will race in the heats of the women's 400 meter dash.