MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Seniors Chelsea Carrier-Eades
and Jessica O’Connell posted strong finishes Saturday evening to lead the team on the final day of the NCAA East Track and Field Regional in Jacksonville, Fla.
Carrier-Eades, a Buckhannon, W.Va., native, finished in seventh place in the 100-meter hurdles in 13.10 seconds to advance to the championship rounds for the event in Des Moines, Iowa, from June 6-9. The time was third-best in her heat to automatically qualify for the semifinals. She will also be competing in the heptathlon in Iowa.
"Chelsea will be a very busy girl in Iowa," says WVU coach Sean Cleary. "Today’s hurdles qualifier puts her in the rare company of a double qualifier at nationals. She now has a few weeks to recover and focus on being right on for the finals."
O’Connell placed 10th overall and sixth in her heat in the 5,000-meter run in 16:26.18 to advance to the championship rounds in Iowa. As only the top five finishers from each heat automatically qualified, O’Connell earned a spot to nationals by way of being one of the next two best finishers in the event.
"Jessica was clutch," Cleary says. "After missing a full year of competition, she lands right back in the finals. She’s been hit by a car, had an Achilles injury and a fall at last year’s meet which can now all be put behind her. She punched her ticket with conviction."
Redshirt sophomore Chené Townsend
almost made the cut in the 100-meter hurdles to advance to Iowa but fell just short of the bid as she finished in 16th place at 13.45 seconds, one hundredth of a second off her lifetime best. The top 12 from each event advance to compete in the semifinals and finals in Iowa.
"Sometimes even being perfect falls a bit short," Cleary says. "Chene was just that athlete today. Her improvements over the course of the year have been outstanding. She will leave this meet with the true belief that she will be in the national finals next year."
Sophomore Stormy Nesbit
had a solid performance in the triple jump with a 27th-place distance of 12.45 meters.
"Stormy has also been a wonderful addition at this level for us," Cleary says. "All associated with our team believe that she will be an all-time great before graduating."
Senior Terina Miller
did well in the hammer throw with a 29th-place finish at 53.90 meters, close to her career-best of 55.25 meters. Junior Jordan Hamric
competed Friday night in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and came in 35th place with a time of 10:35.10 for 13th place in her heat.
"Terina in her first NCAA Championship performed very well," Cleary says. "While it was not what she was looking for, I couldn’t be happier that after all the work that she has put into her training it paid off with this qualifier."
Carrier-Eades and O’Connell will represent the Mountaineers at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, from June 6-9 at Drake University.