LA CROSSE, Wisc. – The UMass Boston women's track & field team claimed the 2018 NCAA Division III Outdoor Championship after totaling 44 points and winning three individual events. The Beacons, who also won the 2018 Indoor Championship, shared the honor with George Fox University, which also totaled 44 points.
UMass Boston trailed George Fox by one point entering the final event of the championships, the 4x400 relay, which saw seniors Taylor Driggers (Lisbon, Conn.) and Lexy Bean (Danvers, Mass.), and sophomores Wadeline Jonathas (Gonaives, Haiti) and Olivia Burnes (Paxton, Mass.) place eighth to pick up the one point needed to grab a share of the title.
This is UMass Boston's second women's outdoor track & field national championship, and is its first since 1986. The Beacons won their fourth indoor national title in March, both are their first NCAA national championship victories as members of the Little East Conference.
Driggers claimed the national title in the triple jump after clearing 12.56 meters on her final attempt of the day Saturday, which was 0.30 meters better than her mark of 12.26 meters that was best heading into the final round of jumps. It was her second All-American performance of the weekend after she placed sixth in the long jump (5.81m) Thursday.
Jonathas was crowned national champion in two events Saturday, winning the 400-meter dash in 54.90 seconds and then the 200-meter dash in 23.90 seconds. Those were her second and third individual All-America performances of the weekend after she placed fifth in the long jump (5.84m) Thursday. Her 400 prelim time of 53.53 seconds set a new facility record.
Two LEC 4x100 relays placed in the top-three Saturday, both earning All-America honors. Rhode Island College's team of sophomore Jaclyn Xavier (Cumberland, R.I.), juniors Eleni Grammas (Cranston, R.I.) and Nicole Grammas (Cranston, R.I.), and sophomore Emma Landroche (Warwick, R.I.) were the national runner-up after finishing in 46.82 seconds. They edged out UMass Boston's team of Bean, Jonathas, Burnes and Driggers that turned in a third-place time of 46.98 seconds.
Also competing for the Anchorwomen, who tied for 34th as a team with eight points, were senior Destinee Barrette (Warwick, R.I.) and freshman Chelsea Yang (Warwick, R.I.), who finished 13th (52.03m) and 19th (48.98m) in the hammer. Huskies' sophomore Adela Kalilwa (Lewiston, Maine) finished 13th in the triple jump after clearing 11.57 meters.
Southern Maine junior Emily Close (Orleans, Vt.) finished 21st in the heptathlon totaling 4,007 points in the heptathlon. She finished third in the 200-meter dash (26.39), sixth in the long jump (1.54m), 14th in the 100-meter hurdles (16.10), 800-meter run (2:31.75) and long jump (5.08m), 16th in the shot put (8.96m), and 21st in the javelin (13.08m).