Winston-Salem, N.C. – For the first time ever in program history, the Washington University in St. Louis men’s track and field team won a team national championship on Saturday at the JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem, N.C. for the 2022 Indoor Track & Field Indoor Championships.

In an extraordinary display, the Bears battled until the very end, and after a wild ride and a roller coaster of emotions, WashU was named Co-National Champions with UW-Eau Claire after it was all said and done.

WashU has now won 24 NCAA National Championships in school history, marking the first team national title for the Bears since the women’s cross country squad won in 2018.

The deciding race for the national championship came down to the final race of the day, which was the 4×400 relay and the stage was set for a championship showdown.

After the race was initially completed, the Bears’ relay team finished as national runner-up, which would vault WashU into first in the team standings, but multiple protests were filed following the conclusion of the race, so the results remained unofficial for the time being.

Finally, after nearly two hours of waiting, WashU was rewarded as national runner-up in the race, which sealed the Bears tied with UW-Eau Claire with 35 total team points for a shared national title.

Following the ruling, the Bears celebrated in jubilation. For Head Coach Jeff Stiles and staff, the emotions poured in with celebratory hugs as tears flowed down their faces.

Earning the runner-up finish to clinch the national championship was Marcus-Jay Wilkes, Harry Mills, Andrew Whitaker, and John Harry Wagner, who put forth a valiant effort with a time of (3:16.79), marking a new all-time top 10 performance, which sits as the third best race in program history.

Additionally, the group earned All-American honors as they helped guide the Bears to its first men’s track & field national title.

In the afternoon session, the Bears climbed their way up the team standings and collected a huge 12-point swing after Whitaker won the national championship in the 60-Meter Hurdles and Gio Alfred posted a seventh-place All-American finish.

in a race that could not have been any closer, Whitaker’s gutsy effort outlasted WPI by five thousandths of a second, marking a time of 7.943, which sits as a new career PR and ranks second all-time in WashU history.

Whitaker’s national title also marked the Bears’ second individual national championship for the weekend after the men’s DMR team won the title on Friday evening.

Carrying the momentum over into the 3000m, Jacob Ridderhoff had another amazing performance, earning a fourth-place finish at 8:18.22. The senior collected All-American honors again and set the stage for the Bears’ 4×400 relay team to bring home the national title.

WashU will now get set for the outdoor season which will begin on March 26 at home for the WashU Mini Meet. 


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