March 11, 2014

Cutler, Hinthorne, Switaj Qualify For NCAAs

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. — Three members of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's indoor track and field team qualified for the 2014 NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships, when the national selection committee announced the national performance list on Monday morning.

Sophomore Kevin Cutler (Attleboro, Mass.), senior Matthew Hinthorne (Braintree, Mass.), and classmate Zachary Switaj (Tamworth, N.H.) advanced to the national championship meet between March 14 and 15 at the University of Nebraska's Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln, Neb. Nebraska Wesleyan will serve as the official host for the two-day competition.

The 2014 NCAA Division III Men's Track and Field Committee accepted the top-15 student-athletes for each individual event, including the pentathlon, while limiting the top-12 declared relay teams, one per institution, into the competition.

Cutler is making his debut at the NCAA Division III Championship, earning a spot in the high jump event. The sophomore from Attleboro, Mass. is seeded fifth with a mark of 2.10 meters. Cutler set the Corsair school record in his first meet of the season at the Beacon Invitational, clearing the bar at 6-10.25 feet. He surpassed the previous standard that was set by his teammate Adam Jones (Amesbury, Mass.) in 2013.

Hinthorne is also making his first appearance at the national championship meet, earning the ninth seed in the 800-meter run. The Braintree, Mass. product broke the UMass Dartmouth program record at the Last Chance Meet at Tufts University on March 6. Hinthorne captured his heat with a winning time on one minute, 51.61 seconds. Two days later, he placed second at the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championships (1:53.80). Hinthorne is one of six competitors from the New England Region to advance into the national field.

Switaj is ranked 13th in the mile event in his debut at the NCAA Division III Championships. The senior from Tamworth, N.H. also established a new Corsairs record at the Last Chance Meet on March 6 at Tufts University. Switaj covered the distance in a time of four minutes, 11.70 seconds, shattering the previous record that was held by Eric Nygaard (4:14.61) in 2011. He will see some familiar faces in the race as seven New England competitors will participate in the event.

Switaj will be the first member of the men's contingent to compete in the national championship, running his preliminary at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, March 14. Hinthorne will compete in his preliminary heat later that afternoon at approximately 4:05 p.m.

Cutler will participate in high jump on Saturday, March 15 at 10 a.m. The finals of the mile will be conducted at 1:30 p.m., while the 800-meter champion will be crowned at 3:45 p.m.

For complete coverage of the 2014 NCAA Division III Men's and Women's Indoor Track and Field Championships, please click on the official home page of Nebraska Wesleyan.