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Sandle wins triple jump national title

UW-RF photo.

Mike Sandle jumped 50-6 to become a National Champion at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Meet held at Grinnell College on Saturday.

Sandle is the first Falcon male track & field athlete to win a National title. He hit the mark on his fifth of six jumps. His leap was four inches better than the second place finisher.

Sandle broke his own school record by one-half inch and earned All-American honors.

"In a very intense competition with great competitors, Mike finished as a very humble champion," said Falcon Coach Aaron Decker. "He competed with real class and the support of his competitors. It is great to bring an NCAA title back to River Falls. I was very impressed with his composure and competitive edge as a freshman at such a high level meet. He has a real future in the sport. He finished in the best possible way by bringing home a new lifetime best, a school record, and an NCAA title. I couldn't think of a better finish to his first collegiate season."

Clai Catto finished seventh and earned All-American honors with his effort in the high jump He leaped 6-8 3/4. UW-Stevens Point's Zach Mixdorf won the event with a leap of 6-11. "Clai was a great representation of hard work and experience paying off," said Decker. "He was able to keep his composure and make some crucial jumps when he needed to in a very tough field."

Jared Brandenburg just missed earning All-American honors in the mile run. He finished in 4:16.86 while the eighth place finisher came in at 4:16.57. Kevin McCarthy of Wabash won the race in 4:08.93. "Jared ran a great race," said Decker. "The pace was constantly changing and with the group packed in until the last 400 it made for a tough finish. He was 11th ranked coming into the meet and finishing ninth. He closed the indoor season in a very successful way."

The Falcons scored 12 points in the meet.