By Maggie Franke
In the past few weeks, Wheaton athletes have finished their winter seasons with stellar performances at nationals and other competitions on and off campus. Here is a brief summary of what you missed:
- For the first time since 1960, the Wheaton Men’s Basketball team made it to the Final Four of the NCAA DIII Men’s Basketball National Championship Tournament. This historic victory added onto an incredible year for the Thunder men’s basketball team even though they ended up losing in the semi-final to UW-Oshkosh 104-85.
- Senior Aston Francis was named the DIII Men’s Basketball player of the year by D3News and D3hoops.com. Francis also won the Jostens trophy, an award that’s been honoring DIII athletes since 1998. Francis is the first Wheaton athlete to win the award. Francis scored a DIII-record of 1,096 points this season and a school-record of 388 career three-pointers during his career.
- Junior Hannah Frazier was named first-team All-American by D3hoops.com and the WCBA, and second-team All-American by D3news. Frazier scored 559 points, breaking the Wheaton record she set last year.
- Favor Ezewuzie earned All-American honors at the NCAA DIII Women’s Indoor Track & Field Championships. Ezewuzie finished second in the 60-meter hurdles after running a time of 8.69 seconds and seventh in the 60-meter dash after running a time of 7.77 seconds.
- Sophomore Hannah Roeske earned All-American honors at the championships. Roeske finished sixth place overall in the one-mile run with a time of 4:54.78.
- Leif van Grinsven finished third overall, earning All-American honors, in the heptathlon at the championships. Van Grinsven, who was also named an All- American, finished with 843 total points at the end of the multi-event scoring.
- Natasha Brown competed in the championships as well, but ran to an 11th place finish in the 200-meter dash, one place out of the final, with a time of 25.37 seconds.
- Junior Grant Miller competed in the 2019 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships in the 285-pound weight class on March 8. Miller lost his first round match and completed his competition in the tournament after another loss in the consolation bracket. This was Miller’s first time qualifying for the national championships.
- Senior Brooke Barnes won an All-American title for the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle events at the DIII Women’s Swimming and Diving National Championships in Greensboro, N.C. Barnes finished sixth overall in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 23.20 and fifth overall in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 50.54, both the second fastest times in each respective event in Wheaton Women’s Swimming history.
- Senior Chris Szymczak also wrapped up his historic four-year swimming career at the DIII Men’s Swimming and Diving National Championships. after qualifying for the meet in February. Szymczak swam the 200-yard freestyle and the 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke. His highest place finish was his 200-yard freestyle swim of 1:49.02, which put him at 20th place overall in the event.
- Sophomore Will Rinne swam the 200-yard freestyle, 200-yard individual medley (IM) and the 100-yard freestyle at the DIII Men’s Swimming and Diving National Championships in Greensboro N.C. While Rinne did not repeat his All-American honors from his freshman year, he finished 18th overall in the 200-yard IM.