Six Track and Field Athletes Qualify for National Championships

From top left: Kelly Brennan, Zak Dysert, Amanda Milo, Brooke Buckhannon, Jordan Leverette and Alyssa Laughner (Photos courtesy of Ed Hall Jr. and John Reid)
From top left: Kelly Brennan, Zak Dysert, Amanda Milo, Brooke Buckhannon, Jordan Leverette and Alyssa Laughner (Photos courtesy of Ed Hall Jr. and John Reid)

BEREA, Ohio – Six Baldwin Wallace University outdoor track and field student-athletes will continue their season at the 2019 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

On the men's side, senior indoor All-American sprinter Jordan Leverette (Cleveland/John Adams) is making his first appearance in the national meet since earning All-American honors as a freshman in 2016. He will compete in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes. Senior All-Ohio Athletic Conference thrower Zak Dysert (McDonald, Pa./Fort Cherry) qualifies in the hammer throw for his first Outdoor National Championships and his third overall national meet.

For the women, junior two-time All-American distance runner Kelly Brennan (Akron/Walsh Jesuit) returns to the outdoor national meet as she seeks a repeat All-American finish in the 800-meter run. Meanwhile, junior All-OAC and Academic All-OAC thrower Brooke Buckhannon (Collins/Western Reserve), freshman All-OAC hurdler Amanda Milo (Akron/Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy) and freshman All-OAC distance runner Alyssa Laughner (Howard, Pa./Central Mountain) are each making their first appearance at the National Championships. Buckhannon will compete in the hammer throw, Milo in the 100-meter hurdles and Laughner in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Leverette posted the top NCAA Division III times in the 100 and 200 to qualify for his second national meet and his first during the outdoor season. He broke the school record in both those events with top national times of 10.38 and 20.89 seconds, respectively. This season, Leverette won the 100-meter titles at both the All-Ohio and OAC Championships and he received United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Great Lakes Region recognition in both his events. The senior was named OAC Men's Track Athlete of the Week and USTFCCCA Division III National Athlete of the Week during the outdoor campaign.

Dysert topped all of NCAA Division III in the hammer throw, where he won the event in seven straight meets this season. The senior broke the hammer school record in back-to-back meets, hitting the eventual NCAA-leading mark of 210 feet, 8 inches at the All-Ohio Outdoor Championships. That throw is currently the 10th-best toss in the history of the event. Dysert won both the All-Ohio and OAC titles and also earned USTFCCCA honors in the hammer and the discus throw. Three times during the outdoor season, he was named OAC Men's Field Athlete of the Week.

Brennan qualified for her third straight national appearance and her second at the NCAA Outdoor Championships as she seeks her third career All-America finish. She comes into the meet ranked third in the 800 with a season-best time of 2:10.13, which is just 0.08 seconds off her school record time in the event. Brennan won the 800 at both the All-Ohio and OAC Championships and added two other OAC crowns in the 1,500-meter run and the 4x800-meter relay. She was named OAC Women's Track Athlete of the Week once during the outdoor season and earned two USTFCCCA All-Great Lakes Region honors.

Buckhannon tossed the ninth-best mark in the hammer throw to qualify for her first national meet. She hit a season-best and career-best throw of 175'6" just a few weeks ago at the University of Akron Campbell-Wright Invitational. Buckhannon won the OAC title in the hammer and also finished as the runner-up in the discus throw. This season, the junior was named OAC Women's Field Athlete of the Week and also repeated as a USTFCCCA All-Great Lakes Region performer in the hammer.

The top-ranked freshman in the 100-meter hurdles, Milo continues to impress in her first collegiate season. She captured a pair of podium finishes at the All-Ohio and OAC Championships as she placed third in both meets. Milo then posted a career-best time of 14.37 seconds at the Great Lakes Final Qualifying meet to qualify for the Outdoor National Championships as she ranks 13th in the event.

Laughner rounds out the field for the Yellow Jackets as she joins Buckhannon and Milo as first-time qualifiers. She competed in her first-ever 3,000-meter steeplechase at the OAC Championships where she finished as the runner-up just 0.02 seconds behind the now three-time defending event champion. Laughner then turned in the 18th-best time in the country of 10:55.36 at the Harrison Dillard Twilight to qualify for the national meet.

The 2019 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships will take place Thursday through Saturday, May 23-25, hosted jointly by the University of Mount Union and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.