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Women's Track: Three to Run at Nationals


By Kelly Tuckwiller for WVUsports.com
March 10, 2011 12:55 PM
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Three members of the West Virginia University track and field are set to compete in the 2011 Indoor Championships at the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium on March 11-12 in College Station, Texas.

Chelsea Carrier, Keri Bland and Jessica O'Connell will represent the Mountaineers in the 60-meter hurdles and the pentathlon, the mile and the 3,000-meter race, respectively.

Carrier, a Buckhannon, W.Va., native qualified for the NCAA Championships with BIG EAST titles in the pentathlon and the 60-meter hurdles. She is currently ranked No. 5 in the nation in the pentathlon with 4,170 points, and is tied for No. 8 in the hurdles after posting a school record time of 8.15 at the conference championships.

Competition will begin for Carrier at 10 a.m., on Friday, with the 60-meter hurdles portion of the pentathlon, while the preliminary round of the individual 60-meter hurdles is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

“It was unbelievable what was required to make it in the hurdles this year, but we hope and expect that Chelsea will do well again this year.” coach Sean Cleary says. “In the pentathlon she can make up some ground in the long jump for more points and if she can do that, she will be in a good spot.”

After earning her first BIG EAST title with a first-place finish in the 3,000-meter race, Alberta, Canada, native, O’Connell improved her time at last weekend’s Columbia Last Chance Meet with an automatic qualifying performance of 9:14.12. One of the last events of the weekend, the 3,000-meter event is tentatively scheduled for 6:40 p.m., on Saturday.

“Last weekend, Jess did all of her work late in the race, but her start was a little off,” Cleary says. “If she can get that in place, she definitely has a shot at a top eight finish.”

Bland also raced her way to a spot in the national championships last weekend, with an automatic qualifying time in the mile. The Fairview, W.Va., native finished with a time of 4:38.56, marking the second-straight year she has qualified for the finals in the mile. The preliminary round of the mile is set for 4 p.m. on Friday.

“We had a runner in 1999 win the national mile in 4:39, and this year there was a girl who ran 4:39 and didn’t even get into the meet,” Cleary admits. “Keri is right there. She got sick coming off the BIG EAST Championships, but if she takes one or two more seconds off of her qualifying time, she will be standing on the podium and in the top eight.”

ESPN3.com will stream live portions of the event with NCAA.com/ aggieathletics.com streaming the remainder.

For more information, log onto NCAA.com.


Tags
West Virginia University, Women's Track, NCAA


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