A banner weekend for North Central track & field

SHARE A banner weekend for North Central track & field

By John Grochowski

North Central got just about everything it could hope for except a team trophy Friday and Saturday in the NCAA Division III track championships in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Senior Travis Morrison and freshman Luke Winder won individual championships Friday, with Morrison winning the 5,000 in 14:23.94 and Winder vaulting 17-4 ½. Morrison came back Saturday to place fourth in the 3,000, while Aron Sebhat missed all-America status by one place, finishing ninth. The Cardinals also got all-America performances from Ben Dickshinski, eighth in the 5,000, and the fourth-place distance medley relay team of Matt Muth, Derek Nelson, Richard Ruske and Sebhat.

In a meet won by Wisconsin-Eau Claire with 62 points, North Central totaled 31 points, two points behind fourth-place St.  Olaf, the last team on the podium. North Central had topped St. Olaf in the fall for the Division  III cross country title, a year after St. Olaf finished first and North Central second.

‘‘Everybody was fabulous,’’ Cardinals coach Frank Gramarosso said. ‘‘As a team, we always want to get a trophy, and we just missed at the end.

‘‘Travis ran a fabulous race. He had a race plan for the last couple of weeks with [distance coach] Al Carius that they worked on in his training. At a certain point in that race, he was just going to go, and if anybody went with him, he was going to do the best he could.’’

Winder missed his first try at 17-0 ¾, which Andrew Bartnett of Johns Hopkins and Tim Moses of Messiah cleared. Winder then passed to 17-2 ¾ and cleared on his first try. Moses also cleared the height, but only Winder cleared 17-4 ½.

‘‘Having the mental character that he showed was really impressive,’’ Gramarosso said. ‘‘To be down and to pass, you’ve got to be tough mentally to be able to do that.’’

NCAA Division III wrestling

Two CCIW wrestlers earned all-America honors in the Division  III championships in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Wheaton senior Dan Olsen took a 12-10 decision over Williams’ Christopher Chorzepa in the third-place match at 184 pounds. Olsen also was an all-American in 2013.

At 141, North Central sophomore Layten Binion placed sixth, losing 4-1 in his fifth-place match vs. Nick Steger of Loras.

Lewis women roll

Jamie Johnson, a 5-8 junior guard, scored 31 points and 6-0 senior forward Mariyah Brawner-Henley had 30 points and 18 rebounds to lead No. 4 Lewis (31-2) to an 83-76 victory over Ashland in the NCAA Division II Midwest Region championship game Monday in Houghton, Michigan. Brawner-Henley became the 10th player in NCAA women’s basketball history to reach 50 career double-doubles.

The Flyers play Limestone in a quarterfinal Tuesday in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

The Flyers men’s team (22-9) won its tournament opener 70-62 over Wisconsin-Parkside, then lost 78-59 to Indianapolis.

In NAIA Division II women’s play, St. Xavier (31-4) won twice but lost 68-67 to Hastings in a quarterfinal game in Sioux City, Iowa.

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