New Orleans, LA --- WPI senior Ryan Wittenberg (Bedford, NH) has been recognized as the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Men's Division III National Athlete of the Week. It is the track & field program's first-ever national weekly honor.
Wittenberg continued his stellar senior year this past weekend at the David Hemery Valentine Invitational hosted by Boston University by becoming the fifth fastest performer with the seventh fastest performance in NCAA DIII history in the 800-meter run when he crossed the finish line in 1:49.89. It was quite the run for Wittenberg, who hadn't clocked a sub-1:52 in the 800m in his career.
In addition to placing fifth among collegiate entries, Wittenberg was second in New England across all three divisions this past weekend. For the season, he is currently No. 1 in Division III and No. 5 in the region regardless of division.
Wittenberg also clocked the quickest split (48.538) in the 4x400-meter run that also included junior Alex Rus (Newton, MA), senior Antoine Harris (Southington, CT) and junior Nick Fleury (Hopkinton, NH). The quartet's total time of 3:18.39 ranks 10th on the NCAA Division III leaderboard.
It is the second time he reset his own record this season, having ranked second on the DIII performance list with a 1:52.65 (1:51.07 banked) at the Wheaton Invitational on January 20. He also set the program's 600-meter run record in the Engineers season opener on January 13 at Bowdoin. Both early performances also served as facility records.
Coast Guard sophomore Kaitlyn Mooney (Manahawkin, NJ) earned the women's nod for her DIII-best 5,000-meter run. WPI senior Antoine Harris (Southington, CT) and junior Sydney Packard (Georgetown, MA) posted the top DIII 200m (21.58) and 800m (2:10.52) performances, respectively, this past week.
Wittenberg and company head to the Springfield Invitational on Saturday.