GREENCASTLE, IN- Senior Merzudin Ibric (Revere, MA/Phillips Academy) and sophomore Cailean Robinson (Newton, MA/Phillips Exeter Academy) each earned a pair of All-America honors on Saturday while leading the Wheaton College men's indoor track & field team to a tie for ninth at the NCAA Championship, its best showing since 2004. The two-day meet was held at DePauw University's Hollensteiner Track.
Wheaton's men were among 65 scoring teams and notched 15 points while placing among the top 10 for the seventh time in 13 visits to the indoor NCAA meet. The Lyons had the second-most points by a New England school, as Amherst College tied for seventh with 17 points. North Central College of Illinois won the title with 52.3 points, while the Blue and White matched the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater in the standings.
Ibric took fourth out of eight 400-meter dash runners in 49.09, coming within 0.41 seconds of the runner-up finisher and bettering his Friday trials time of 49.15. The team captain earned his first All-America accolade since the indoor 400M during his freshman year.
Robinson was third in the nation in the 55-meter dash, clocking in at 6.39 in an eight-runner field to knock 0.01 seconds off his trials time. While coming within 0.03 ticks of his eight-day-old school record, Robinson earned an All-America accolade in the event for the second straight year after taking eighth place in 2009.
During the final event of the meet, the 4x400M relay, Ibric and Robinson added their second All-America finishes of the day while combining with junior Mark Williamson (Vienna, VA/James Madison) and freshman Ben Miklovich (New Gloucester, ME/Gray-New Gloucester) to take fifth out of 11 foursomes at 3:18.31. The quartet was 1.09 seconds short of the winner. Miklovich drew an All-America accolade in his first NCAA Championship, while Williamson earned his first for either an indoor or an outdoor NCAA meet.
Wheaton's women's 4x400M relay quartet narrowly missed taking the final All-America position, placing ninth in 3:57.76 to finish 0.03 seconds short of eighth. Junior Laurenmaria Smith (Providence, RI/Hope), sophomores Lauren Cardarelli (Cranston, RI/La Salle Academy) and Didine Jusme (Providence, RI/Classical), and freshman Samantha Bennett (Weymouth, MA/Weymouth) each ran legs. Sophomore Mickey Jusme (Providence, RI/Classical) also competed in the triple jump during the day's events.
Wheaton's track & field teams begin their outdoor campaigns this coming week, traveling to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for the Coastal Carolina University Shamrock Invitational. The three-day competition kicks off on Thursday.