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Celen Wins Third National Title in Photo Finish

Celen Wins Third National Title in Photo Finish



GENEVA, Ohio –
 Bridgewater junior Amber Celen won her third national title of the year by the narrowest of margins, edging the 100 meter final by a hundredth of a second.

Celen got a good start out of the blocks but was clearly trailing Misericordia's Oniesha Clarke before a late surge in the final 20 meters.

There was a short delay for the photo finish, before the scoreboard finally flashed 11.63 for Celen and 11.64 for Clarke, with both athletes coming in below the D-III championship meet and stadium record marks.

The national title completed a banner year for Celen and for Bridgewater athletics, which more than doubled its total of national championships for the school's history.

Coming into this semester with four all-time individual national champs, Bridgewater won five in 2017, including Celen's indoor triumphs at 60 meters and 200 meters. Zellie Wothers would add an event win at the equestrian IHSA championships, and golfer Christina Herbert won the NCAA D-III title in a late comeback. All three Eagles are juniors and will be back in action next year.

Celen tried for another win in the 200 meters but finished second for the second consecutive year, behind 400 meter champion Wadeline Jonathas of UMASS-Boston. Her time of 23.87 did set a new ODAC record.

The Eagles finish 2017 with seven women's track All-American finishes, including performances from Katelyn Senger (discus) and Celen (long jump) on Thursday. Celen, who was an indoor honoree in the 60m, 200m and long jump, is now a career nine-time All-American.

Bridgewater, who was third in the team standings at one point, finished with 29 points and placed a program-best fifth overall.