High Jumper Wins NCAA National Championship

In other NCAA action, men’s lacrosse finishes second with 22-1 record and women’s rowing places third

In a strong performance at the NCAA Division III Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships on May 27, junior Harry Rienecker-Found, A24, finished as the co-national champion in the high jump.

Rienecker-Found, who was seeded 14th entering the meet, tied with No. 19 Brady Vilvens of Wilmington College (Ohio) in a dramatic, uplifting finish to the event. Rienecker-Found and Vilvens competed with Susquehanna’s Bryce Ellinger in the high jump finals after they all succeeded at 6 feet, 9 and ¾ inches (2.08m), which was a personal record for Reinecker-Found.

With the national title on the line, the height increased to 6-11 (2.11m). All three missed in their attempts, including Rienecker-Found, who injured his hamstring on his second attempt, forcing him to pass on his third. Ellinger took third place, based on four previous misses (Rienecker-Found and Vilvens only had one).
Typically a tie-breaker jump-off would be held, but Rienecker-Found was unable to continue due to his injury. Vilvens could have forced the jump-off anyway, and won the title outright, but in a great display of sportsmanship agreed to the tie as a final result.

This is the first NCAA championship for the men’s track & field team since the 2018 outdoor meet when Stefan Duvivier won, also in the high jump. It’s the sixth individual or relay national title won by Jumbos in the 2022-23 academic year.

There has been plenty of other postseason action as well.

Men’s Lacrosse. An unforgettable season for the men’s lacrosse team came to end May 28 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, when the Jumbos fell to Salisbury University, 17-12, in the NCAA Division III National Championship game.

The Jumbos (22-1) had an amazing run over the last three months, winning a program-record 22 games in a row to get to the championship game. That stretch included a New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) title, along with four NCAA tournament victories. The championship game appearance for Tufts was the sixth in program history. It was the first since 2016 and the first for head coach Casey D’Annolfo.  

“I just want to say how proud I am of our group,” said D’Annolfo after the game. “It’s a pretty incredible story start to finish. To go undefeated up to the championship game, to have a good time doing it, being a brotherhood. Making it fun every single day. I’m incredibly grateful for that—I’ll never forget that.”

Women’s Rowing. The Jumbos medaled at the NCAA Division III Championships with a third-place team finish on May 27. The Jumbo first and second varsity 8s participated in the grand finals, where they both placed fourth, but the combined performances against the seven other teams placed the Jumbos third overall. It’s the best team, first varsity 8s, and second varsity 8s finishes at NCAAs in program history.

The Jumbos passed Wesleyan in the final 500m of the second varsity 8s race to place fourth in that race (7:20.577). Wesleyan came in second in the team standings. Tufts and Ithaca College were neck-and-neck for third in the varsity 8s grand final, but the Bombers (7:12.891) edged out the Jumbos (7:12.691) by less than a second.

Women’s Outdoor Track & Field. The Jumbos finished in ninth place at the NCAA Division III Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships hosted by St. John Fisher University May 25-27 in Rochester, New York.

Tufts started the meet with senior Jaidyn Appel’s third place in the high jump, Lia Rotti’s fourth in the long jump, and graduate student Kelsie Hao’s sixth in the long jump on May 25. On May 26 Hao was seventh in the pole vault. To finish the meet, on May 27 Rotti was fifth in the triple jump and graduate student Hannah Neilon was sixth in the 800 meters. All six of these performances earned All-American honors.

The team finish was in addition to their seventh- and eighth-place team finishes at the last two NCAA Indoor meets, and their sixth place finish at the 2021 outdoor meet.

Sailing. Tufts placed 18th in the Women’s Fleet Racing Nationals on May 25, and 13th at the Team Racing National Championship May 27-28. Tufts is also competing at the Open Fleet Racing National Championship May 30-June 2 at U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York.

Men’s Rowing. The Jumbos will close out the year at the IRA Division III National Championship on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, New Jersey, June 2-3.

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