Laun-Smith takes 3rd in D-III meet

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BOSTON, Mass. - Sophomore Eva Laun-Smith continued her record-breaking career at Beloit College by becoming the first female Buccaneer to earn All-American honors at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and FIeld Championships.

Competing at the University of Massachusetts-Boston on Saturday morning, Laun-Smith captured the bronze in the triple jump.

The Beloit Memorial High School graduate opened the event with a leap of 11.89 meters (39-feet, 1/4-inch). That distance sealed her entry in the finals and was the distance that secured her third place.

"What a tremendous accomplishment," said Head Track and Field Coach Brian Bliese. "Just to get to the NCAA Championships for a Buccaneer athlete is an honor and to achieve All-America status is unbelievable."

Laun-Smith wa seeded sixth heading into the event after setting the school record with a leap of 11.91 meters (39-1) to win the event at the Midwest Conference Championships just two weeks ago.

Friday, Laun-Smith competed in the 60-meter hurdles. The first female Buc to compete in the indoor nationals since 2004, she was seeded 13th heading into the competition. She was clocked in 9.04 seconds in the preliminaries, missing out on the finals.

Laun-Smith captured two MWC titles this season in the 60 hurdles and triple jump. She was named United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Region in both events and qualified to compete in both at the NCAA championships.

"We are so proud of her efforts," Bliese said. "We have her do a lot for our program and to reach this level is amazing."

As a freshman, Laun-Smith won three MWC Indoor titles, three outdoor titles and competed in the NCAA D-III Outdoor Championships in the triple jump. She has also been named the Field Performer of the Meet at the past two indoor conference championships in addition to Newcomer of the Year honors a season ago.

Laun-Smith holds program records in the 60 hurdles, long jump and triple jump indoors, as well as, 100-meter hurdles, long jump and triple jump outdoors over the last year-and-a-half.

• FERGER HIGH JUMPS: UW-Whitewater's Dylan Ferger, a Beloit Turner graduate, competed in the D-III Men's Championships. He jumped 6-foot-3 1/2 inches to finish in a tie for 17th place.

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