From Iowa to Virginia, from Indiana to Texas, all Colorado School of Mines’ winter sports teams ended their seasons on the national stage March 7-11.
The indoor track & field teams earned several honors, including two individual national championships, at their national meet in Virginia. Hannah Miller took home the title in women’s pole vault, and Dillon Powell won the gold in the men’s 5,000-meter race.
The women’s indoor track & field team tied for eighth place at the national meet — the best finish in program history and its first time in the top 10.
Additionally, four Orediggers wrestled at the national championships in Iowa; the men’s and women’s basketball teams lost their separate first-round NCAA tournament games in Texas; and the Mines swimming teams made a splash at their national meet in Indianapolis.
From sea to shining sea, the Orediggers earned numerous postseason honors March 7-11, helping end their seasons on a high note.
Indoor track & field
Along with Miller and Powell’s national titles, 15 Orediggers ended their indoor seasons with All-American honors at the March 10-11 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships in Virginia Beach.
Luke Julian scored a silver medal in the men’s mile, and Loic Scomparin and Hunter Potrykus finished eighth in the 3,000-meter and pole vault, respectively.
On the women’s team, Zoe Baker finished fourth in the women’s 5,000-meter race, and Aryelle Wright took fifth in the 800-meter race, setting a new program record in the process.
Additionally, Baker and teammate Molly Maksin both set new personal bests in the women’s 3,000-meter race. Maksin finished in 10th place with a time of 9:31.58, while Baker came in 13th at 9:33.05.
Overall, the Mines women’s team finished eighth and the men’s team, 14th. The track & field teams were scheduled to start their outdoor seasons March 17-18 in Pueblo.
Weston DiBlasi, Grayston DiBlasi, Carter Noehre and Anderson Salisbury represented Mines at the NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships March 10 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Weston DiBlasi, a 133-pound wrestler, exited after losing his first two matches.
His brother, Grayston DiBlasi, did slightly better. The 141-pound wrestler won his preliminary bout, but lost his official first-round match and lost again in the consolation bracket.
At 157 pounds, redshirt senior Noehre ended his Mines wrestling career with a 2-2 record at nationals. Fellow senior Salisbury also closed out his time at Mines with a 2-2 record at 197 pounds.
In addition to their victories on the mat, Grayston DiBlasi won the Elite 90 Award for his athletic and academic achievements. The award is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average at each sport’s national competition.
Grayston DiBlasi, a sophomore, has a 3.97 GPA in mechanical engineering. He’s the 12th Oredigger and the second Mines wrestler to win it.
Men’s and women’s basketball
While hoping to make deep runs in the NCAA Division II tournament, both Mines basketball teams ran into trouble in Texas.
On March 10, the women’s team had its season cut short by a rowdy UT-Tyler team in San Angelo, Texas.
The No. 4-seed Orediggers were down 34-27 at halftime, and the No. 5-seed Patriots kept their momentum in the second half. Senior guard Ashley Steffeck led the Orediggers with 27 points, 13 rebounds and seven steals. But, it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit, and the Mines women’s team ultimately lost 73-63.
The next day, the men’s team faced off against a familiar foe, fellow RMAC team Black Hills State, in Canyon, Texas. It was the teams’ third meeting this season.
The No. 3-seeded Orediggers never found a rhythm on shooting, especially beyond the arc. They went 2-of-19 on treys and gave up 14 turnovers. The No. 6-seeded Yellow Jackets advanced in the NCAA Division II tournament, winning 68-48.
Senior forward Adam Thistlewood led the Orediggers in his final game at Mines, recording 13 points and four rebounds.
Orediggers on both teams will likely receive additional postseason accolades in the coming weeks.
The Mines men’s and women’s swimming team made postseason waves at the NCAA Division II Swimming & Diving Championship March 7-11 in Indianapolis.
Mines opened the meet with a 17th-place finish in the women’s 800-yard freestyle relay. The next day, senior Meghan Slowey nabbed 14th place and All-American honors in the women’s 1,000-yard freestyle. Garrett Waite likewise finished 14th in the men’s 200-yard individual medley, breaking his own program record in the process.
On Day 3, the women’s 400-yard medley relay team earned All-American honors with a 14th place finish. Then, on Day 4, senior Charles Burroughs broke his own program record in the men's 200-yard fly, taking 10th place at 1:47.41.
On the last day, Slowey had Mines’ best performance of the meet, finishing fifth in the 1,650-yard freestyle race. The senior swam a career-best 16:46.93, and took a spot at the podium for the second consecutive year. Slowey finished eighth in the event at nationals last year.
Additionally, Jordan Tierney finished 15th in the women’s 200-yard breaststroke, and the women’s 400-yard freestyle relay took 16th.
Throughout the meet, several other Orediggers finished in the top 40 in the country and set more program records. Ultimately, the women’s team finished 22nd at the meet, and the men’s team, 30th.
For more information on all the winter sports teams' achievements, visit MinesAthletics.com.