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Panthers’ Maxwell wins NCAA D-III mile

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Middlebury College senior Alison Maxwell won the women’s mile on Saturday to highlight her team’s efforts at the 2015 NCAA Division III Indoor Championships at the JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Maxwell finished in 4:56.17, just ahead of Eastern Mennonite’s Hannah Chappell-Dick (4:56.81) in a sprint to the finish line.
Maxwell became the first Panther individual champion since Kristoph Becker won the javelin outdoors in 2005, and the first female since Kristy Laramee won the high jump at the indoor national meet in 2000.
Also competing in the mile and racing to All-American honors were seniors Summer Spillane of Shelburne and Sarah Guth. Spillane took fifth in 5:00.72, while Guth was sixth at 5:01.89.
Also, Maxwell the day before helped the Middlebury women’s indoor distance medley relay team earn All-American honors for the sixth straight year with fourth-place effort.
The team of Maxwell, junior Alexandra Morris, and sophomores Paige Fernandez and Erzie Nagy finished in 11:49.60. Panther DMR teams won the NCAA title in 2011 and 2012, took second in 2013, and were seventh in 2010 and 2014. On this past Friday, St. Thomas (Minn.) won the DMR race in 11:45.26 and the top seven places were separated by a little more than 10 seconds. In the DMR the four runners on a team run distances of 400m, 800m, 1200m and 1600m.
Also competing for Middlebury in the NCAA indoor meet were Adrian Walsh, who was ninth in the women’s 5,000-meter run in 17:19.71, and Wilder Schaaf, who finished seventh in a preliminary heat of the mile in 4:16.61.
The Panthers will begin their outdoor season when they head to California for a pair of meets the next two Saturdays at Point Loma Nazarene University.
Also late last week, Middlebury College announced that Panther assistant track and field coach Nicole Wilkerson has been named the New England Region Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). With the award, Wilkerson picks up her fourth regional assistant coach of the year accolade. She was honored with the same award by the organization in 2011 and 2012, as well as being selected the 2012 men’s regional top assistant. She has coached four of the top-20 milers in Division III this year and another top-20 performer at 5,000 meters. Wilkerson also coached the All-American Middlebury distance medley relay.

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