By Kelly Tuckwiller for MSNsportsNET.com
May 10, 2010
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Several members of the West Virginia University track and field team qualified for the NCAA Regionals this evening after competing at the Swarthmore Last Chance Meet in Swarthmore, Pa.
Senior Keri Bland qualified for regionals after finishing second in the 800-meter race. The Fairview, W.Va., native earned the spot after crossing the line with a time of 2:07.04.
“Keri Bland continues to run very strong over 800 meters,” coach Sean Cleary says. “I was impressed with the way she handled herself after training hard all week after the BIG EAST Championships. She will be rewarded for these fast races once she moves back up to the 1,500 meters for the championships.”
Also running well was senior Karly Hamric and junior Jessica O’Connell, who competed in the 1,500-meter race. Hamric posted a personal-best time of 4:15.3 for a second-place finish putting her second on WVU’s all-time performance list in the event. O’Connell also posted a personal-best performance with a time of 4:19.00.
“With Karly and Jessica, we were here to run fast,” Cleary admits. “We came into the meet looking for lifetime best performances and we got just that. Karly smashed her personal-best time and now ranks No.2 all-time at WVU and No. 5 in the county. Jessica continued her strong outdoor campaign. Both of these girls are rounding into great shape with the NCAA meet just around the corner.”
Junior Kaylyn Christopher continued the pattern posting a personal-best time of 4:25.7 in the 1,500-meter race to qualify for regionals.
“Kaylyn Christopher also ran a lifetime best and appears to have punched her ticket into post season play,” Cleary adds. “I am very much satisfied with our preparations and look forward to even better performances over the next month.”
Next, the Mountaineers will compete at the ECAC Championships in Princeton, N.J., on May 15-17, before heading to the NCAA Regionals on May 27.