Pole vaulter Luke Winder ’18 added a national championship outdoor title to the indoor crown he won in March, needing every ounce of competitive resolve to secure the win despite entering the meet as the prohibitive favorite. On his final attempt at 17 feet, 6 ¼ inches, needing a clearance to get the win, Winder summoned his remaining reserves and sailed over the bar to achieve the 10th national pole vault championship in the Cardinals’ history.
“I’m beyond blessed,” he said. “I knew it was going to be a battle and I knew I would have to jump a big bar, but I knew I had it in me. I’ve never been in such a pressure situation, and it’s fitting it was at the national meet.”
In 22 years, coach Tim Winder’s vaulters have earned 14 individual national championships and 71 All-America awards. With Luke’s win, his three sons now account for seven national titles and 12 All-America certificates. Jake Winder ’10 won indoor championships in 2009 and 2010 along with the 2010 outdoor crown, while Josh Winder ’13 won the 2012 indoor and 2013 outdoor titles.
With All-America honors in four events and Winder’s individual national championship, the men’s track and field team left the 2015 NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships with a seventh-place showing.
Travis Morrison ’15 placed sixth in the 10,000-meter run, earning him an All-America award to go with the two he won at the indoor national championships and another he secured last fall at the national cross country championships. Aron Sebhat ’16 and Ryan Root ’15 claimed their first individual All-America awards, placing fourth in the 1,500-meter run and fifth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, respectively.
The Cardinals have placed in the top 10 in the past six Division III Outdoor Championships and also claimed a fifth consecutive College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) Outdoor Championship.