Geneva, Ohio -- UMass Dartmouth junior All-American Jordan Entwistle (Northboro, Mass./Algonquin Regional) capped an incredible individual season by capturing the 2019 individual national championship in the men’s javelin Thursday evening at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships hosted by the SPIRE Institute and the University of Mount Union.
Entwistle, who entered the competition as the top national seed in the event, claimed the Corsairs’ 12th overall individual national crown in all sports and first in 11 years, as his fourth attempt of the night produced the winning mark of 64.27 meters/210 feet, 10 ½ inches and topped runner-up Grant Smith of Transylvania by nearly two feet. Jordan, who earned All-America honors with a fourth place finish at last year’s NCAA outdoor championships, becomes the second two-time All-America men’s javelin performer in school history, as Keith Rose first achieved that feat in 1996 and again in 1997.
Entwistle becomes the fifth male outdoor national track & field champion in UMass Dartmouth history, joining George Itz (1978 1,500 meters), James White (1986 10,000 meters), Stephan Baptista (1987 hammer throw) and Jon Garcia, who won the 2007 outdoor 110 meter hurdles that sandwiched indoor crowns in the indoor 55 meter hurdles in both 2006 and 2008. With tonight’s win, Jordan completed a sweep of all four championships on the spring, as he is the reigning Little East Conference, New England Division III, Open New England (all three divisions) and now NCAA Division III national title holder.
“One thing Jordan did throughout the year was to remain consistent and continue to build to a strong finish with each throw, and that was certainly the case tonight,” first year Corsair Head Coach Mike Salem said of Entwistle’s performance. “He let it all go on his first throw of the finals, and he actually didn’t get all of his strength behind it. There was a little tension on the final throw as (Smith) was the last competitor, but it all worked out and Jordan has forever earned the right to be called a well-deserved national champion.”
Entwistle, the reigning Little East Men’s Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year, becomes the fifth individual men’s outdoor champion in conference history and first in the javelin. He entered the NCAA Championships with a seed mark of 66.47 meters/218 feet, 1 inch set back on May 10th at the NEICAAA (Open New England) Championships at Southern Connecticut. Jordan joins an exclusive Corsair club of individual national champions that also includes David Downing (men’s golf), Diane Weeder (women’s outdoor track) and Tom Egan (men’s diving).
UMass Dartmouth senior Steve Tencati (Clinton, Mass./Clinton), who qualified for his fourth straight trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the javelin, nearly joined Entwistle as an All-American in the event but suffered a heartbreaking ninth place finish in the event with a mark of 60.17 meters/197 feet, 5 inches, as he fell just two inches shy of eighth place performer Dan McAleavey of Rowan. Tencati, who has battled injuries throughout his final collegiate campaign, qualified for the finals on his second throw of the preliminaries, and he reaggravated an injury on his first attempt in the finals. Steve will graduate as the school record holder in the men’s javelin after posting a mark of 66.49 meters/218 feet, 2 inches at the 2018 Open New England Championships.
“I’ve never been more proud to coach an athlete than I have been with Steve this year,” Salem said after the competition. “He fought through so much, worked so hard and continued to achieve at a high level to be among the best in his event in the nation, and he gave it his all again tonight. To qualify four straight years for a national championship is unheard of, and it speaks volumes to his tenacity and dedication.”
UMass Dartmouth is tied for fourth place in the team standings after the opening day of competition at the 2019 NCAA Division III Championships, as junior All-American George Papoulis (Haverhill, Mass./Haverhill) looks to continue his stellar spring by competing in the preliminaries of the 800 meters on Friday afternoon beginning at 4:00 pm.