Track Prepares for Big 12 Indoors

  • By Abby Norman
  • |
  • February 21, 2013 11:38 AM
  • |
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University track and field team is set to compete in its first ever Big 12 Indoor Track and Field Championships on Feb. 22-23 at the Lied Recreation Center in Ames, Iowa.

The Mountaineers will face off against all the Big 12 schools, including five ranked opponents – No. 5 Kansas, No. 12 Iowa State, No. 13 Texas and No. 25 Baylor.

Competition on Friday is slated to begin at 10 a.m., with the women’s pentathlon while the prelims of the 60-meter hurdles will begin at 2 p.m., and the weight throw will be the first field event at 3 p.m. The meet will resume on Saturday at 11 a.m.

“The challenge of a new conference is finding the right formula to excel in a league that is very different from our past. I am excited to see how our young kids handle the pressures of a championship meet,” coach Sean Cleary says. “We have six to seven athletes that I feel are ready for this conference. In time we will need to triple that number but for this first test, I am excited to see how they fare.

“The philosophy of this year’s team is to learn what we need to be ready for in the future. The name of the game is recruiting for all programs. For us, we need to stick to our plan and emerge as quickly as possible to be ready for the new challenges.”

WVU owns 10 top-10 marks in the Big 12 with freshman Kelly Williams leading the way with a ranking of No. 2 in the mile (4:38.47) and No. 6 in the 800-meter run (2:11.88). Two weeks ago, Williams broke into the top-5 in WVU program history with her personal-best mile time at the SPIRE Indoor Track and Field Invitational.

Kelly Williams has had a breakout winter. She has emerged into the ranks of the nation’s best over the last few weeks,” Cleary says. “While this will be the first time that Kelly will find herself in this position, I have total faith that she will emerge with some great running.”

All-American Sarah-Anne Brault returns to the track for only the second time this season after sitting out last season and traveling the world to prepare for a bid for the Olympics. With only one competition under her belt, Brault is ranked No. 8 in the 3,000-meter run with a time of 9:34.62.

Sarah-Anne Brault is our All-American,” Cleary says. “She opened up two weeks ago with a nice result in the 3,000 meters. I look for her to continue her progressions and emerge from indoors with a stellar outdoor season.”

The duo of Heather Adams and Sydney Cummings lead the field event performers as each broke the school record in their respective events this season. Adams broke her own school record twice this season and her mark of 18.18 meters sits at No. 8 in the Big 12 rankings. Cummings tied the 28-year-old record in the high jump with a leap of 1.78 meters and is ranked No. 2 in the Big 12.

Heather Adams has been very consistent this winter. She has consistently proven that she has worked hard and prepared to the best of her ability. I see no reason why she will not return home happy,” Cleary says. “Sydney Cummings has the ability and enough confidence from this winter to make a mark in the high jump. Should she find a way to make one more bar this weekend, she will be one of our highlights.”

Live results from the race can be found at deltatiming.com, while final results and a recap will be posted on WVUsports.com following the completion of competition each day.