LANCASTER, Pa. – Three Franklin & Marshall athletes are headed to the NCAA Indoor Track Championships, hosted by Grinnell College this weekend at the Charles Benson Bear '39 Recreation and Athletic Center. Rebecca Swisher, Evan Friend, and Logan Lewis will all travel to Grinnell, Iowa for two days of competition, beginning on Friday and ending the following day.
The trio represents the largest group of F&M athletes to reach the NCAA Championships under twelfth-year head coach Carl Schnabel.
"It's a product of our philosophy of self-improvement," said Schnabel. "It's what we've been building toward and really validates what we've been trying to accomplish as a program."
Swisher, a senior, is headed to her second indoor championships after tying for fourth and garnering All-America status a year ago as a junior. Her fourth-place finish was the highest ever by a Diplomat in a field event. The Lancaster native looks to improve upon that performance as she enters this season's competition seeded fifth. Her height of 12'-6" puts her firmly in the hunt to again achieve All-America status, and she will be chasing frontrunner Katherine Pitman of Ithaca, whose height of 13'-7.25" tops Division III this year.
Friend, a two-time Centennial Conference (CC) Champion in both the 60- and 200-meter dash, heads to Iowa with the nation's 13th-fastest time in the 200 this year. The senior's mark of 22.15 puts him in contention for a top-eight finish and All-America status in his first NCAA Indoor Championships. Parker Witt of Wisconsin-Whitewater is the top seed, entering competition with a time of 21.86.
The championships will also be sophomore Logan Lewis' first taste of national competition, as he competes in the shot put. Prior to last weekend, Lewis appeared to be on the outside looking in at an NCAA berth, but his toss of 53'-6.25" on Friday at the Tufts Last Chance Meet propelled him to 13th in the national rankings. The Sidney, Neb. native now finds himself headed back to the Midwest, where he will pursue Alex Mess of Wisconsin-Eau Clair and his national-best distance of 57'-10.5."
Lewis and Friend both look to become the first male Diplomat to earn All-America status since Nils Michaelis in 2013.