MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – Following months of preparation, the 2011-12 West Virginia track and field season is off to a strong start as four athletes posted BIG EAST championship qualifying marks at Saturday’s WVU Holiday Classic at the Shell Building.
“We came in with uncertain expectations, but we had a good start to the season today,” says WVU coach Sean Cleary. “Usually in the first meet, the athletes are still dusting off the cobwebs. We had some brand new faces come in and get qualifying marks before Christmas, and that’s something that we haven’t had a lot of in recent years.”
Sophomore Stormy Nesbit highlighted the meet for the Mountaineers as she earned a BIG EAST qualifying mark of 11.90 meters in the triple jump, surpassing the 11.28-meter requirement. The University of Minnesota transfer also placed first in the preliminaries of the 60-meter dash in 8.06 seconds.
“Stormy, in that triple jump off of a short approach, was near her best-ever mark,” Cleary says. “That’s exciting and a breath of fresh air. It’s been awhile since we’ve had a good triple jumper. She’s headed in the right direction.”
The throwers had strong performances as both Terina Miller and Heather Adams had BIG EAST qualifying marks in the weight throw for their respective 16.05-meter and 15.53-meter marks, surpassing the 15.40-meter requirement. In the pole vault, Katlyn Shelar also qualified for BIG EAST with a mark of 3.75 meters, topping the league standard of 3.55 meters.
“Terina (Miller) and the other throwers are all breaking their lifetime bests,” Cleary says. “Terina and Heather (Adams) qualified right off the blocks. That’s unheard of for us the last five or six years and an exciting plus for our program. As for Katlyn Shelar, that’s a very good jump for her. The vaulters emerged from the start very well prepared.”
Redshirt junior Lauren Moskal placed first in the mile, finishing the race in 5:24.23 minutes. Redshirt freshman Alison Kimble came in first in the 3,000-meter run in 10:54.76.
In the 400-meter dash, senior Katelyn Williams placed second and sophomore Allison Tyree came in fourth. Sophomore Shakiyla Cosby came in first place running unattached.
In the high jump, junior Sydney Cummings placed first with a mark of 1.62 meters. In the long jump, senior Meghan Mock came in first with a distance of 5.48 meters.
“We have a lot of work to do,” Cleary says. “The girls who train extra hard over the break will set themselves up for a great winter. Our preparation is going very well toward the outdoor season.”
The Mountaineers will break for the holidays and are set to return to action on Jan. 14 at the Penn State Nittany Lion Challenge in University Park, Pa.