Westcott Advances to Saturday's Steeplechase Final at NCAA Div. III Championships

David Westcott
Senior David Westcott will be one of the 14 competitors in Saturday's 3,000-meter steeplechase championship race, which is slated for an 11:45 a.m. start. Photos courtesy of Erin Madden, Baldwin Wallace University athletics communication assistant.

The College of Wooster's David Westcott placed third within his heat and sixth overall in the 3,000-meter steeplechase on Thursday afternoon during the first day of the NCAA Div. III Outdoor Track & Field Championships, being held at Geneva, Ohio. With his performance, the senior distance standout automatically qualified for a spot in the finals on Saturday.

"It was a super effort," said head coach Dennis Rice. "It was a really challenging race, and that happened when you get the best guys together at the national level. There's going to be a lot of activity during the race, especially going over the barriers. David held strong mentally and was able to stick with the game plan of finishing within the top five to make the finals. What came into play was David's hard training he accomplished throughout the year. That enabled him to really challenge the guys within the last 600 meters."

Westcott's solid 9:14.00 gave him a chance to win the heat, as a photo finish took place with the top three competitors in heat two came in within 68 hundredths of a second. Pomona College-Pitzer College's Daniel Rosen edged out Westcott at the finish with a 9:13.38, while Stevenson University's Patrick Watson took second at 9:13.70.

Westcott will have a recovery day on Friday as other events are contest. The final for the 3,000-meter steeplechase, which will consist of 14 competitors, is scheduled for Saturday at 11:45 a.m.

Messiah College's Benjamin Schott posted the top time between the two heats at 9:09.51.