Women's Track: WVU to Run at Regionals

  • By Kelly Tuckwiller
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  • May 25, 2011 03:27 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University track and field team is set to start its trip to the 2011 NCAA Championships with the East Regionals on May 26-28, in Bloomington, Ind.

The Mountaineers have 12 student-athletes qualified to compete, which ties the school record. This season’s regional meets serve as the preliminary round of the NCAA finals, showcasing the top talent from around the country. The NCAA West Regional Meet will be held in Eugene, Ore.

“The semifinals this year are going to look like past NCAA finals (because of how fast it will be),” coach Sean Cleary says. “Basically, we are going to the NCAA Championships this weekend and hopefully qualify a few for the finals.

“This group ties for the most we have had to qualify for regionals after seeing 12 qualify last year as well. We are very happy to have this group representing us.”

Leading the team is senior Chelsea Carrier. After being named as the BIG EAST Championships Track Athlete of the Meet she is qualified to compete in three events at NCAAs this year. The Buckhannon, W.Va., native, is already qualified for the finals heptathlon, which is not held at the regionals and will take place on June 9-10 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Carrier will start competition at regionals with the long jump tomorrow afternoon as the top-ranked athlete from the BIG EAST in the event. After winning a conference title, Carrier enters the meet seeded fifth. Junior Meghan Mock joins Carrier in the long jump, her first-ever appearance to the outdoor championships.

In her second event of the weekend, Carrier and freshman Chené Townsend will race the 100-meter hurdles. Townsend makes her first trip to the regionals, while Carrier enters in the event as a No. 8 seed.

After winning a BIG EAST title at the conference championships with a school-record time, senior April Rotilio will represent WVU in the 400-meter dash. She enters the meet as the seven seed and will race in the first round on Thursday evening.

Seniors Keri Bland and Kaylyn Christopher are set to compete in one of the fastest events of the weekend, the 1,500-meter race. Bland earned All-America honors last season in the event, while Christopher makes her first appearance at regionals since 2008.

The Mountaineers have a strong group of runners in the 10,000-meter race in Kate Harrison, Sarah-Anne Brault, Kaitlyn Gillespie and Ahna Lewis. At the BIG EAST Championships, Harrison won the title, Brault finished in second and Gillespie and Lewis finished in fourth and eighth, respectively.

Also making a return appearance to the NCAA regional meet is senior Katelyn Williams, who will join sophomore Sydney Cummings in the high jump.

“We are racing at a world-class facility this weekend,” Cleary adds. “There are only 10 or 12 places in the country capable of hosting a meet this size and Bloomington has the facilities.

“It looks like we are going to get 70-degree temperatures and rain this weekend, which we are ready for. We have a lot of kids that I feel have a chance to make the finals out in Iowa.”

Live results and video for this weekend’s East Regional Meet can be found at www.iuhoosiers.cstv.com.


WVU women's track, NCAA East regionals

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