Trent Jackson, Sports Information Director
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Wartburg men’s and women’s track and field competed in the final day of the NCAA Outdoor Championships on Saturday, May 29 at the Irwin Belk Track on the campus of North Carolina A&T State University, with the men earning their first NCAA Division III Outdoor National Championship with a school record 54 points.
The Knights came into the final race of the day tied for first place and needed to beat the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in the 4×400-meter relay race to claim the title. Dallas Wright, Dalton Martin, Wyatt Schmidt and Derrick Smith did just that and Wartburg earned its first national championship.
The Orange & Black tallied a total of 16 All-Americans during the three-day event. The men earned 11 All-American spots while four women received All-American honors.
The 4×100-meter relay team of Wright, Riley Nolan, Randy Williams and Smith kicked off the day for Wartburg. The team finished in third place and earned All-American honors when they clocked in with a time of 40.82, which is the third fastest time in program history.
Senior Matt Heinzman followed that performance with an All-American spot on the podium during the 1,500-meter run. The Royal Oak, Mich. native finished in seventh place and ran a personal best 3:48.07, which is the third best time in school history. This marked the first All-American nod for Heinzman in outdoor track and field.
Freshman Deyton Love competed in the 110-meter hurdle finals on Saturday and took sixth, which earned him an All-American honor. The Waterloo, Iowa native tied the fifth fastest time in Wartburg history with a 14.51.
Senior Wright continued his busy day when he competed in the 400-meter dash and took second place. The All-American recorded a personal-best time of 46.83, which set a new Wartburg record in the event.
Wright then switched his focus to the 400-meter hurdles where he was the reigning champion and the top-seeded runner in the event. The Carlisle, Iowa native looked as though he would repeat as champion but tripped over the final hurdle and placed fourth. The senior finished with a time of 54.14 and was named an All-American in the event for the second straight season.
Smith returned to the track after a rain delay and competed in the 200-meter dash finals. The sophomore earned an All-American spot on the podium when he placed fifth with a time of 21.46, which is the third fastest time in program history.
Heinzman, Christopher Collet and Joe Freiburger all participated in the 5,000-meter run. Freiburger paced the Knights with a fifth-place finish and clocked in with the third best time in school history, 14:21.26. Collet joined Freiburger on the All-American podium when he placed sixth with a personal-best time of 14:22.17, which is the fourth fastest time in Wartburg history. Heinzman finished with a time of 15:00.97 and took 15th.
The final race of the day was the 4×400-meter relay with a national title on the line. Wright, Schmidt, Smith and Martin clinched the national championship for Wartburg with a third-place finish in the race. The All-Americans clocked in with a time of 3:12.47, which is the third fastest time in school history.