Maxwell Wins National Championship in Women’s Mile as Panthers Compete in NCAA Indoor Championships

Alison Maxwell (center) leads teammates Sarah Guth (left) and Summer Spillane (right) during Saturday's women's mile. (photo courtesy of Sideline Media Productions)
Alison Maxwell (center) leads teammates Sarah Guth (left) and Summer Spillane (right) during Saturday's women's mile. (photo courtesy of Sideline Media Productions)

Senior Alison Maxwell (Port Angeles, Wash.) sprinted to the finish line ahead of the field to claim the national championship in the women's mile during the final day of the 2015 NCAA Division III Indoor Championships. A total of eight Panthers competed in the two-day meet that was contested at the JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem, North Carolina with Roanoke College serving as the host institution.

On Friday, the Middlebury women's indoor distance medley relay team earned All-American honors for the sixth-straight year with a fourth-place effort during the final event of the opening day.

The team of Maxwell, junior Alexandra Morris (London, U.K.) and sophomores Paige Fernandez (Oradell, N.J.) and Erzie Nagy (Albion, Maine) raced to the line in a time of 11:49.60. In addition to Friday's result, a women's DMR team representing Middlebury won the national title in both 2011 and 2012. The Panthers were also runners-up 2013 and recorded seventh-place showings in 2010 and 2014. In Friday's event, St. Thomas (Minn.) won the national championship in the event with a time of 11:45.26, as the top-seven places were separated by a little more than 10 seconds.

Junior Adrian Walsh (Bozeman, Mont.) took part in the women's 5,000-meter run, finishing less than a second off the All-American podium with a ninth-place effort of 17:19.71.

In men's action, senior Wilder Schaaf (Ashland, Ore.) finished seventh in his respective heat of the mile run with a time of 4:16.61.

With her victory on Saturday afternoon in the women’s mile, Maxwell becomes the first Panther individual champion since Khristoph Becker won the javelin outdoors in 2005, and the first female since Kristy Laramee stood atop the podium following the high jump event at the indoor national meet in 2000. Maxwell crossed the finish line with a national championship time of 4:56.17. She finished just ahead of Eastern Mennonite's Hannah Chappell-Dick, who stopped the clock in 4:56.81.

Also competing in the event and racing to All-American honors were seniors Summer Spillane (Shelburne, Vt.) and Sarah Guth (Wilton, Conn.). Spillane crossed the line with a fifth-place mark of 5:00.72, while Guth was a little more than a second behind in sixth at 5:01.89.

Coupled with Friday's distance medley relay fourth-place finish, the women racked up a combined 22 team points, good for 10th place out of 66 teams who scored.

• Track & Field competes at NCAA Championships (JDL Fast Track, Winston-Salem, N.C.)
• Up next: 3/21 @ Ross & Sharon Irwin Meet (Point Loma Nazarene University)