NAPERVILLE, Ill. - Sophomore Hiroto Watanabe of the Tufts University men's indoor track & field team earned All-American honors in the 800 meter run at the 2017 NCAA Division III Championships on Saturday afternoon.
Competing at North Central College, Watanabe finished the 800 in a 1:56.93 time to take eighth place in Saturday's national final. He was the only runner from New England to qualify for the final and earn All-American honors.
On Friday, Watanabe qualified for the finals in the 800 meter run with a 1:53.70 time that was seventh in the preliminaries. He had entered the national championship meet seeded ninth, and moved up a spot in the competition to receive his first All-American accolade.
The eighth-place finish by Watanabe earned one team point for the Jumbos. Including the 10 points scored by senior Tim Nichols by winning the 5,000 meters on Friday, Tufts totaled 11 team points to tie for 18th in the team standings at the NCAA meet. It's their third top 20 finish in the last three four seasons.
Nichols almost added another All-American performance on Saturday as he competed in the 3,000 meters. However, he was ninth - one spot away from All-American - with an 8:24.47 finish. He was just 0.51 behind eighth-place finisher Jaryd Flank from Muhlenberg (8:23.96).
Junior Stefan Duvivier also competed for head coach Joel Williams' Jumbos at the NCAA's on Saturday in the high jump. He finished tied for 10th with a 6'5 1/2" (1.97m) best effort.