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Schedule and Results

Result: 38th of 67 teams // Matt Wilkinson - All-America (6th place) in 5000m / Lucas Mueller - All-America (6th place) in 3000m

Men's Track and Field at NCAA Indoor Championships

Friday, March 8th, 2019 – 3000m prelims (Fri.) / 5000m finals (Fri.) / 3000m finals (Sat. 4:55 p.m. ET) at Boston, Mass. - Reggie Lewis Center

Matt Wilkinson is All-American in 5000-meter run; Lucas Mueller advances to finals of 3000-meter run

Matt Wilkinson
Matt Wilkinson
Photo: Ryan Coleman / d3photography.com

BOSTON – On day one of the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships, Carleton College sophomore Matt Wilkinson (Minnetonka, Minn./Minnetonka) overcame a footwear issue and became the latest member of the men’s track and field program to earn status as an All-American. He placed sixth in the finals of the 5000-meter run. Earlier in the day, classmate  Lucas Mueller (St. Paul, Minn./Nova Classical Academy) advanced to the finals of the 3000-meter run.

Wilkinson entered the race seeded ninth in the 20-racer field, but he ended the evening by becoming the third runner in team history to garner All-America status for the indoor 5000-meter run… but it was not easy.

Running on one and a half shoes for much of the race, Wilkinson still managed to post a career-best time of 14:33.97.

Wilkinson got stepped on three laps into the 25 lap race, and his heel was not in his shoe. While running, he repeatedly tried to kick his toe on the track in an attempt to get his shoe back on, but to no avail. Knowing that running 22 laps without a shoe would seriously tear up his foot, Wilkinson ran the next 18 laps with his shoe only half on his foot.

Then with four laps to go, he kicked the shoe off. He was running in 10th place at the time, knowing that the top eight finishers are All-Americans. Wilkinson did not think that he would be able to catch anyone else, but they did not pull away from him at all. So with 250 meters to go, he started to accelerate and ran the fastest final 200 meters of the field. Wilkinson passed four runners on the last lap and closed to within two seconds of fourth place.

Earlier in the day, Mueller and senior Tris Dodge (Oakland, Calif./College Prep) raced the prelims of the 3000-meter run. Mueller won his heat and punched his ticket for Saturday’s event final, while Dodge placed 15th overall.

This is the first time that the 3000-meter race went to a prelims-finals model. There were 20 runners entered in the event, and a total of 12 racers earned berths in the finals. The first four finishers from each of the two heats automatically advanced to Saturday’s final along with the next four fastest times overall.

Dodge raced in the first heat and clocked a time of 8:30.03. After running in seventh place for the first two laps, he took the lead for much of the next 2000 meters before slipping back into the middle of the pack.

He ran in what turned into what ended up as the faster of the two preliminary races. Seven runners from the first heat posted times faster than Mueller did in winning heat two, and all four “at-large” bids came from the opening heat.

By winning his heat—with a time of 8:24.26—Mueller gained automatic entry into the finals on Saturday.

Mueller was boxed in multiple times over the early portion of the race. He finally moved to the outside and was able to take the lead at the race’s midpoint. He ran from the front the rest of the way.

The 3000-meter finals will be contested at 4:55 p.m. ET/3:55 p.m. CT on Saturday.

Lucas Mueller, Men's Track and Field Action, NCAA Championships, 2019-03-08

Lucas Mueller leads the pack during the 3000-meter run prelims at the 2019 NCAA Indoor Championships.

Tris Dodge, Men's Track and Field Action, NCAA Championships, 2019-03-08

Tris Dodge battles for the lead during his prelim heat of the 3000-meter run.