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Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Senior sprinter seeded ninth among 13 qualifiers in DIII 400 meter dash

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. – Senior sprinter David Nicholson (WINDSOR) will compete in national competition for the first time Friday when he participates in the 2006 NCAA Division III Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Tostrud Recreation Center on the campus of St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN.

Seeded ninth among 13 qualifiers, Nicholson (48.60) is scheduled to run in the preliminaries of the 400 meter dash Friday night at 7:50 p.m. ET.  Nicholson will run the first heat of Friday’s preliminaries, along with defending national champion and top seeded senior Nate Olson (47.74) of Wisconsin-Lacrosse, junior Bobby Young (48.44) of Lincoln University and senior Josh Hauser (48.95) of Wartburg College. Three heats of three competitors will follow.

The top eight runners will advance to the final, scheduled for Saturday at 6:15 p.m. All eight finalists will be accorded All-America honors.

Four of the 13 participants in the 400 meter dash qualified automatically while the remaining nine qualified on a provisional basis. Nicholson established his seed time Feb. 25 when he finished sixth in a field of 30 at the New England Open at Boston University.  

Other competitors in the 400 meter dash from New England are senior Ajay Sisodia and freshman Jon Cunha of Wheaton College. Both Sisodia and Cunha also established their seed times at the New England Open. Cunha was fourth in a time of 48.21 and Sisodia eighth in 48.61.

This year’s New England Division III champion at 400 meters, Nicholson is attempting to become the first male athlete in program history to earn All-America track and field honors in a running event. Previous Eastern track and field All-Americas are Jason Edwards, a four-time indoor and outdoor All-America in the long jump between 1999 and 2002 and Eastern Hall of Famer Vinnie Pillari, who earned the honor in the shot put in the 1977 outdoor championship. Edwards placed as high as second in his event (in 1999) and Pillari was third in his event.

In addition to winning the New England Division III title and placing second sixth in the New England Open this year, Nicholson won his second straight New England Alliance championship Feb. 13, was second in a field of 52 at the season-opening Harvard University Invitational Dec. 10 and was third in a field of 48 at Wesleyan University Jan. 28. He has run under 50 seconds in all five meets this year.

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