MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Following a strong start Friday, the WVU track and field team continued its successful indoor season Saturday as five Mountaineers qualified for BIG EAST on the second day of the Penn State National in State College, Pa.
Sprinter Brittany Wolford, distance runners Stephanie Aldea, Sarah Martinelli and Jordan Hamric and high jumper Katelyn Williams earned BIG EAST qualifying marks in their respective events at Penn State’s Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track.
Wolford came in ninth place in the 500-meter dash in 1:16.95, clearing the 1:17.24 requirement to participate at the BIG EAST Championships in mid-February.
“What a great run for Brittany,” Cleary says. “I’m very proud of her. It was her first ever BIG EAST qualifying mark. Her determination has paid off.”
Competing in her first race of the year, junior Stephanie Aldea qualified with her second-place 1,000-meter finish in 2:53.29, meeting the 2:59 league standard for the event.
In the mile run, Martinelli and Hamric met the requirement of 5:08 with their respective 4:57.25 and 5:03.34 finishes. Martinelli placed first overall, while Hamric arrived in eighth place. Junior Lauren Moskal also competed in the race, finishing 13th in 5:23.07.
“Martinelli ran a great mile today,” Cleary says. “This was a great mental breakthrough for her. In my opinion, this is but the tip of the iceberg for Hamric. It’s nice to see her nail the BIG EAST time. It was a nice rust buster to start the year.”
Williams qualified in the high jump by surpassing the 1.68 league mark with a jump of 1.70 meters Saturday, placing 7th in the field. Junior Sydney Cummings came in 14th place with a jump of 1.65 meters.
“Katelyn (Williams) looked much better this week,” Cleary says. “We have been very patient with her offseason injury. I fully expect that she will be on top of her game in time for the BIG EAST.
“The pieces are falling into place for us. We’re nowhere near where we need to be, but this weekend brought us closer than we were last week.”
The Mountaineers compete next Saturday at the Sykes Sabock Challenge Cup for its third trip of the year to State College, Pa.