Brunnette headed to national championship for third time in 2017-18
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Junior Sam Brunnette (Newport Center, Vt.) is once again set to compete on collegiate athletics' biggest stage, the NCAA Championships, after the NCAA released the entries for the 2018 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday morning.
Brunnette, who earned All-America status while competing at both the cross country and indoor track and field championships already this year, will be competing as the fifth seed in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. He punched his ticket with a record-setting performance on Thursday at the MIT Final Qualifier meet, where he finished in 9:04.85. The time was just shy of 12.5 seconds faster than his previous school record.
It's been a banner year for Brunnette, who started his junior campaign with a 25th place finish at the NCAA Division III Men's Cross Country National Championship to become the program's first All-American in November. He followed that up with an eighth place, All-America performance in the 3,000 meter run at the NCAA Division III Men's Indoor Track and Field National Championship meet in March, and will look for the three-peat next weekend.
Brunnette is one of 20 athletes accepted into the field for the steeplechase, a group headlined by senior Mark Fairley of Central College (Iowa), the event's top seed with a time of 8:57.39. Brunnette and juniors Scott Mason of Connecticut College and Aidan Gilson of MIT are the only competitors in the field from New England.
Brunnette has earned the highest honor in the Little East Conference in each of his three sports this year, sweeping the Men's Cross Country Runner of the Year, Men's Indoor Track and Field Track Athlete of the Year and Men's Outdoor Track and Field Track Athlete of the Year awards.
The championships will be held May 24-26 at the Veteran's Memorial Field Sports Complex in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Preliminaries for the steeplechase will take place Thursday (May 24) at 4:30 p.m., with the finals set for Saturday (May 26) at 11:30 a.m. All times are Central Standard Time. Live video and results for all events will be available at NCAA.com.
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