Gustavus seniors Andy Klaers (Loretto, Minn./Delano) and Janna Castellano (Blaine, Minn./Totino-Grace) both picked up fourth place finishes Friday at the 2007 NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships held in the Sports and Recreation Center on the campus of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind.
Klaers posted a personal-best throw of 58-8 in the weight throw as Brandon Houle of University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh captured the national championship with a throw of 63-11 3/4. Klaers uncorked his best throw on his second attempt in the preliminary round.
Castellano broke her own school record with a 12-3 1/2 effort in the pole vault. Castellano, who competed in a field that saw a pair of vaulters set a new Division III meet mark, cleared the same height as third place finisher Chelsea Becker of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, but Becker placed higher due to a tiebreaker. Becker needed only two attempts to clear 12-3 1/2, while Castellano needed three. Senior Megan Rossi of North Central College and senior Meghan Voiland of Augustana (Ill.) each cleared 12-11 1/2 to share the national meet record in the event, but only one national champion could be crowned and a tiebreaker ensued. Following eight additional jumps, Rossi cleared 12-3 1/2 to capture the title after Voiland narrowly clipped the bar in her tiebreak attempt.
Klaers and Castellano, the only two Gusties to compete at this year’s NCAA Championships, also receive All-America honors by finishing in the top eight at the national meet. Castellano’s finish is the best by a Gustavus woman at the NCAA Indoor Championships since Jackie Luehmann placed third in the shot put in 2004. Klaers’ finish is the best for a Gustavus man since Luke Speltz finished second in both the shot put and the weight throw in 2003. That year, Ryan Hoag also placed fourth in the 55-meter dash.