Claremont, Calif. - Junior Ben Girodias qualified for the NCAA Division III Men's Track and Field Championships in the 10,000 meters, which will be held from Thursday-Saturday at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio, it was announced today.
Girodias was the last qualifier for the NCAA Championships in the 10K with a personal best time this season of 30:31.62, which he ran at the Mt. Sac Invitational. The 10,000 meters isn't run at the SCIAC Championships, meaning that Girodias didn't have an opportunity to improve on his time late in the year, but he held on to the last position after this weekend's final meets nationally.
Girodias joins freshman Paul Messana, who was officially invited in the 800 meters with the 15th best time nationally this year. Messana had been in good position to qualify for the last month, after clocking a 1:51.35 at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational, which was the second-fastest in Division III at the time. Some runners passed his time late in the year to drop him back to 15th, but he was still almost a full half-second ahead of the cutoff point, as the 20th qualifier ran a 1:51.82.
Messana was the SCIAC Champion in the 800 meters, and also was named the SCIAC Newcomer of the Year. Girodias finished third in the 5000 meters at the SCIAC Championships, and led the Pomona-Pitzer Men's Cross Country team to an NCAA West Regional title in the fall, finishing fourth.
Girodias and Messana will also be joined by Women's Track and Field member Ailene Nguyen, who was 18th in the long jump in Division III this season. The schedule of their events is as follows (all times are EST):
NCAA Division III Nationals (Ohio Wesleyan University - Delaware, Ohio)
Thursday, 3:30 p.m. - Women's Long Jump finals (Nguyen)
Thursday, 8:10 p.m. - Men's 10,000 meters finals (Girodias)
Friday, 8:15 p.m. - Men's 800 prelims (Messana)
Saturday, 3:45 p.m. - Men's 800 finals (Messana - if he qualifies)