National Impact

By Patrick Bohn, March 18, 2022
Men’s and women’s track and field teams bring home championships and honors.

Last weekend’s 2022 NCAA Division III Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track and Field Championships provided an opportunity for Ithaca College student-athletes and coaches to show that they are the best in the country. The women’s team finished in third place while the men’s team finished sixth.

On the women’s side, Meghan Matheny ’22 won her second national championship in the pole vault, clearing 3.95 meters to capture the 50th individual championship in school history. Matheny, who also won the 2021 outdoor championship, is the sixth women’s track and field student-athlete to win a national title, and joins Katherine Pitman ’17, DPT ’19 as Bombers who have won multiple pole vault championships.

Matheny’s title wasn’t the only pole-vaulting highlight of the weekend. Sara Altonen ’24 finished in third place, earning All-American status in the process, while Martha Kemp-Neilson ’23 placed 10th overall.

Standout Stars

The following student-athletes earned All-American honors at the 2022 NCAA Division III Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track & Field Championships:

Meghan Matheny ’22, first place in the women’s pole vault
Tia Jones ’23, second place in the women’s 60-meter dash and 200-meter dash

Logan Bruce ’22, second place in the women’s pentathlon
Sara Altonen ’24, third place in the women’s pole vault
Jalen Leonard-Osborne ’24, first place in the men’s 60-meter dash
Luke Tobia ’22, second place in the men’s weight throw
Dom Mikula ’22 fifth place in the men’s pole vault
Andy Frank ’23 fifth place in the men’s 200-meter dash

All that success has made the rest of the country take notice. Assistant coach Matt Scheffler, who coaches the Bombers’ pole vaulters, was named the National Women's Assistant Coach of the Year by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Scheffler has been on the coaching staff for 16 years and has been named regional assistant coach of the year four times.

“I couldn’t be prouder of what our winter sport student-athletes and coaches achieved over these past few weeks. They are the epitome of what it means to be an Ithaca College Bomber. It’s a testament to their dedication to return to athletic competition after the challenges of the pandemic and win these individual championships and accolades.”

Susan Bassett ’79, associate vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics and recreational sports

The weekend was also historic for the men’s team, as the program claimed its first-ever national championship, courtesy of Jalen Leonard-Osborne ’24, who took home the 60-meter dash title with a time of 6.76 seconds. Earlier in the competition, during the preliminaries, he had broken his own program record by running a 6.72, which was the sixth-fastest time in the history of Division III.

“I couldn’t be prouder of what our winter sport student-athletes and coaches achieved over these past few weeks,” said Susan Bassett ’79, associate vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics and recreational sports. “They are the epitome of what it means to be an Ithaca College Bomber. It’s a testament to their dedication to return to athletic competition after the challenges of the pandemic and win these individual championships and accolades.”