Seven from ODAC Schools Headed to NCAA Indoor Track Championships

Seven from ODAC Schools Headed to NCAA Indoor Track Championships

FOREST, Va. --- Seven student-athletes from ODAC member schools will carry the league's banner at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships this weekend. Standouts from five schools will make the trip to Birmingham, Ala., for two days of competition on March 9-10 at the Birmingham CrossPlex.

Last season, the ODAC saw five athletes compete at the championships in Naperville, Ill. Each left North Central College's campus with an All-American award. Three of those athletes return to the national field this season.

Bridgewater College All-American Amber Celen leads the charge as she'll compete in three events for the second straight season. Sprinter Davonta Womack gives Celen a teammate at the national meet for a second time in as many years.  Roanoke College will also be represented by two competitors as sprinter Quinn Harlan and jumper Mara Briggs take to the national field.

The ODAC's presence is the mile run is considerable with three combined athletes. That includes a pair of All-Americans on the women's side in Lynchburg College's Natalie Deacon and Virginia Wesleyan University's Marissa Coombs. Washington and Lee University's MacKenzye Leroy looks to garner the same distinction as he competes in the men's mile.

RELATED: Men's Accepted Entries | Women's Accepted Entries

For each men’s individual event contested, including the heptathlon, the top 15 declared student-athletes were accepted into the competition. For each woman’s individual event contested, including the pentathlon, the top 17 declared student-athletes were accepted into the competition. For each relay event contested, the top 12 declared relay teams, one per institution, were accepted into the competition.

RELATED ITEMS: Championship Meet Information

Celen earned All-America status in the 60-meter and 200-meter dashes as well as the long jump last year. She has a chance to duplicate that effort this weekend as she is slated to compete in each discipline. Celen, the South/Southeast Region Track Athlete of the Year (by the USTFCCA), is ranked second (24.41) and third (7.64) in the 200m and 60m events, respectively, entering the championships. She is #4 (5.81m) in the long jump table.

Joining Celen in the 60-meter dash is Roanoke's Harlan. The ODAC Rookie of the Year blistered the field on the way to the league title in the event, posting the second-fastest 60m time in NCAA Division III history at 7.46 seconds. Fortunate for sprint fans, the owner of D3's fastest time is also in the field. Harlan sits 0.03 seconds behind Wadeline Jonathas from the University of Massachusetts-Boston, who also tops Celen by 0.09 seconds in the 200m dash.

The ODAC isn't done with 60-meter dash as Bridgewater's Davonta Womack will take to the men's competition. The conference champion and ODAC Men's Indoor Athlete of the Meet is fifth in the field at 6.84 seconds. Benedictine University's Jordan Johnson and Emmanuel Egubjor from Augsburg College sit at the top at 6.79 seconds.

Roanoke's Briggs is making her first nationals appearance thanks to a banner jumping season. Named the South/Southeast Region Field Athlete of the Year earlier this week, Briggs won the ODAC high jump title at 1.63 meters. She eclipsed that at the Maroons Final Qualifier, setting a school-record at 1.69 meters. She is slotted eighth in the field of 17 competitors and just 0.03 meters behind four athletes tied for the top spot at 1.72m.

In the men's mile, W&L's Leroy will also make his inaugural appearance in the national meet. Leroy won the ODAC title at 4:26.80, but bettered that considerably at the Maroons Final Qualifier with a new personal-best time of 4:13.65. He achieved that mark on a flat track, but the D-III championships will be competed in a banked venue. When converted for that banking, Leroy's qualifying time of 4:10.46 ranks 13th on the list of competitors. Ramapo College's Jeremy Hernandez leads the pack at 3:59.01.

For the second straight season, VWU's Coombs and LC's Deacon will square off in the women's mile. The pair finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in that race. At the 2018 ODAC Championships, Coombs edged Deacon by just 1.90 seconds (5:21.0 to 5:22.9), but those times proved to be just short of prevoius season bests for both. Deacon enters the event sixth at 4:54.71 (converted from 4:57.62), while Coombs is 13th at 4:56.16 (converted from 4:59.09). Emily Richards from Ohio Northern University leads the field at 4:46.11.

RELATED ITEMS: Championship Heat Sheets

Links for live results will eventually be available online via For more information, visit the websites of any of the participating issues, or go to the ODAC's home on the Internet at Don't forget to become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook and follow @odacathletics on Twitter and Instagram