ODAC Features 15 Entries in NCAA Track & Field Championships

Davonta Womack and Shamyra Wilkerson are just two of the 15 student-athletes from ODAC member schools set to compete at the NCAA Track & Field Championships.
Davonta Womack and Shamyra Wilkerson are just two of the 15 student-athletes from ODAC member schools set to compete at the NCAA Track & Field Championships.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. --- For the 10th time in conference history and first time since 2015, ODAC member school representation at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships will feature 10 or more student-athletes when competition kicks off on Thursday, May 23. The championships span three days with the University of Mount Union and the Great Cleveland Sports Commission serving as hosts at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.

A total of 15 stars from conference programs will compete in 14 events. That number nearly doubles last year's contingent of eight ODAC student-athletes competing in the season closing meet. It is the first time ODAC representation features double figure entries since 15 athletes competed in the 2015 championships in Canton, N.Y. The 2019 entry list is tied for fourth largest in ODAC history behind 17 athletes in the 1998 and 2014 meets and a conference-best 26 competitors in an historic national showcase that featured 11 All-American performances from league individuals.

RELATED: All-Time ODAC Qualifiers

Six women's competitors and nine men's athletes comprise this year's list of entries. Shenandoah University's Shamyra Wilkerson will be the most active of the women's contingent, competing in a pair of sprints. Bridgewater College features the most competitors with four women including Calista Ariel, English Jackson, Tye Meador, and Emily Valle. Eastern Mennonite University's Michaela Chowning rounds out the women's representation.

Bridgewater's team area will be full with five more Eagles from its men's ranks joining their women's competitors in Ohio. That group includes Diante Cannon, Alex Galloway, Jamie Hiegel, Dirk Jones, and Davonta Womack, the latter of whom will feature in an ODAC-high three events. EMU will be represented by Grant Amoateng, while the University of Lynchburg banner will be carried by Julian Douglas. He won't be the only Hill City entry as Randolph College's Darren Petty will also be making the trip. Washington and Lee University's Drew Pranka rounds out the list.

RELATED: Women's Entries/Performance List | Men's Entries/Performance List

Valle, Wilkerson, and Womack are each in search of their second All-American awards of the year as the trio took home high honors from the NCAA indoor championships in March. Wilkerson has an opportunity to double-up in the 200-meter dash as that event along with the 100-meter sprint are on her docket for the outdoor meet. She finished eighth (0:25.84) in the indoor 200-dash to take home her first career All-American award. Her outdoor qualifying time of 0:24.66 will see her start outside of award range in 11th position. She'll have further work to do in the 100-dash as she starts that race 17th at 0:12.16.

Womack's three-event haul includes the long jump, 100-meter dash, and 4x100-meter relay with teammates Cannon, Galloway, and Jones. His All-American run in the 60-meter dash indoors is not an eligble event in the outdoor meet. BC's 4x100 team is ranked ninth with an ODAC overall and championship record time of 0:41.16. While the 4x100 team starts one place shy of the All-America cut line, Womack begins the 100-dash a spot inside the line as the seventh-ranked sprinter. His time of 0:10.54 is 0.04 seconds from matching the ODAC record set by Virginia Wesleyan's Randy Lott in 2014. Womack's qualifying mark in the long jump finds him hovering in the middle of the pack. His best leap of 7.24 meters (23-9.00) is slotted 13th of the 20 competitors.

Valle earned her first career All-American nod in the short 60-meter hurdles indoors. She'll be competing in the much longer 400-meter hurdles in the outdoor arena. Her time of 1:02.18 is currently 13th in the 22-woman field.

Joining Valle in BC's women's ranks, Ariel and Meador are both slotted 10th in their respective events while Jackson is 22nd in hers. Ariel takes her ODAC record time of 10:50.41 into the 3,000-meter steeplechase field. Meador owns the same position in the long jump ranks, powered her her career-best mark of 5.76 meters (18-10.75). Jackson enters the 5,000-meter run with a time of 17:19.08.

Hiegel caps Bridgewater's contingent in Ohio. He'll take part in the longest of races, the 10,000-meter run. His time of 30:07.63 finds him seventh in the field and is a little more than four-seconds from the ODAC record set by former Lynchburg All-American Ricky Flynn in 2010.

EMU's Chowning is the lone first-year standout in the ODAC's contingent competing on the national stage. Her best clearance of 1.69 meters (5-6.50) has her positioned right in the middle of the performance list in 10th. On the opposite side of the coin, Amoateng his making his third appearance in the triple jump field at the NCAA outdoor championships. Although he has yet to capture an All-American prize in his previous two attempts, he finds himself squarely in the discussion this year. His mark of 14.80 meters (48-6.75) is ranked seventh in this season's field.

Lynchburg's Douglas joins Womack in the long jump competition. His career-best leap of 7.17 meters (23-6.25) earned him the 19th position in the field.

Petty and Pranka will both be competing in hurdles events, but of different distances. Randolph's Petty is slotted 17th in the 110-meter hurdles at 0:14.60, which is 0.30 seconds off the ODAC record held by former W&L standout Andy White. He set that back in 1987, making it the third-oldest record in ODAC history. The Generals' Pranka will compete in the 400-meter hurdles. He is also slotted 17th at 0:53.35.

RELATED: ODAC Women's Record Book | ODAC Men's Record Book

For each men’s individual event contested, including the decathlon, the top 20 declared student-athletes were accepted into the competition. For each women’s individual event contested, including the heptathlon, the top 22 declared student-athletes were accepted into the competition. For each relay event contested, the top 16 declared relay teams, one per institution, were accepted into the competition.

RELATED ITEMS: Championship Results and Meet Information

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