DARTMOUTH, Mass. - University of Massachusetts Dartmouth senior Jared Louf-Woods (Salem, Mass.) and sophomore George Papoulis (Haverhill, Mass.) officially punched their tickets to the 2018 NCAA Division III Men's and Women's Indoor Track and Field Championships on Monday, as the final list of participants was released by the NCAA Division III Men's and Women's Track and Field and Cross Country Committee.
In the men's circuit, the list of qualifiers for individual events is determined by the athletes' ranking in that event, with the top-15 times and distances earning a trip to Nationals. Louf-Woods is ranked third in the weight throw and 14th in the shot put, while Papoulis is seeded 12th nationally in the 800-meter run. A total of 10 Little East Conference athletes qualified for the national meet in Birmingham, Ala. on March 10.
Louf-Woods has been among the national leaders throughout the indoor season, earning the top-ranking in Division III in the weight throw on Jan. 13 when he re-broke his own Corsair record to win the meet at 18.83m (61-9.5 ft.). Shortly after, the Salem, Mass. product regained possession of the No. 1 ranking at the Open New England Championships on Feb. 3rd when he again set the school standard in the event with a throw of 19.12m (62-8.7 ft.). The senior's final qualifying mark in the weight throw came at the LEC/New England Alliance Championships where he broke the joint-meet record, along with the school record for the third time in the year. He stood atop the podium after recording a toss at 16.23m (53-03 ft.) to give him his current national placement.
The trip to Nationals for the shot put was not as guaranteed for Louf-Woods as it was in the weight throw as improved performances through the season awarded him the 14th ranking. While sitting just inside the top-50 for the event, the Salem-native hit his stride on Jan. 26th & 27th at the Boston University John Thomas Terrier Classic when he hit the 15-meter mark for the first time in the indoor season with a distance of 15.22m (49-11 ft.). Since then, he shattered his previous season-best with throws of 15.51m (50-11 ft.) at the Open New England Championship, before breaking the meet and school record at the LEC/New England Alliance Championship when he launched the shot 16.23m (53-3 ft.) to give him his current career-best. The trip marks the second time overall that Louf-Woods will compete at the National Championship, doing so during the 2016-17 outdoor season.
Papoulis is also making his second appearance at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships, after making his debut last winter. The sophomore logged his first competition of the year in the 800-meter at the John Thomas Terrier Classic where he stopped the timer at 1:52.37 to place 20th in a competitive field that included participants from all three NCAA Divisions. Papoulis solidified his spot in the national field at the Tufts Last Chance Qualifier, racing to a 1:52.35 time and placing overall and moving up four spots on the national qualifying list.
The NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championship will take place between March 9-10 at the Birmingham CrossPlex in Birmingham, Ala.