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Gong, Virdi earn individual national titles at NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships

Virdi wins second-straight title in pole vault while Gong takes win at 3,000 meters.
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MIT Engineers Maryann Gong (left) and Cimran Virdi are NCAA Division III champions.
Caption:
MIT Engineers Maryann Gong (left) and Cimran Virdi are NCAA Division III champions.
Credits:
Photos: Patrick Barragan
Maryann Gong cruises to victory in the 3,000-meter race.
Caption:
Maryann Gong cruises to victory in the 3,000-meter race.
Credits:
Photo: Patrick Barragan
Cimran Virdi clears the bar at the NCAA Division III National Championships.
Caption:
Cimran Virdi clears the bar at the NCAA Division III National Championships.
Credits:
Photo: Patrick Barragan
Cimran Virdi (center) takes to the podium with her second-straight indoor pole vault title.
Caption:
Cimran Virdi (center) takes to the podium with her second-straight indoor pole vault title.
Credits:
Photo: Patrick Barragan

MIT junior Cimran Virdi of Walnut Creek, California, and sophomore Maryann Gong of Livermore, California, highlighted MIT’s performance at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships this past weekend, earning individual titles in the pole vault and 3,000-meter events, respectively. Both student-athletes collected All-America honors with their first-place performances.

Virdi, who won her second-consecutive pole vault championship, recorded a clear of 13-01.50. Westminster College junior Marissa Kalsey also cleared the same height, but Virdi made her jump on her first attempt while Kalsey did not make it until her third try, giving Virdi the win. With the title, Virdi became the first Engineer to win multiple championships in track and field.

Gong captured the 3,000-meter final, rushing past Cornell College sophomore Abrah Masterson during the final lap to seal the win. She crossed the finish line in 9:47.62 and collected her third All-America honor this weekend. Gong also recorded a third-place performance in the mile (4:57.42) and helped the MIT Distance Medley Relay team to a second-place finish with a time of 11:47.43. 

MIT concluded the meet in fourth place with an overall team score of 34 points, improving on their mark of 22 points from a year ago. Tech also garnered seven All-America honors and two honorable mentions.

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