Track Preps for NCAA East Preliminary Round

  • May 22, 2013 03:35 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Nine members of the West Virginia University track and field team are set to compete at the 2013 NCAA East Preliminary Round on May 23-25 at the Irwin Belk Track inside Aggie Stadium on the campus of North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, N.C.

The meet will feature 48 competitors in each individual event, each individual looking to finish in the top 12 for a national-qualifying spot. The top 12 individuals in both the East and West regions will advance to the 2013 NCAA Division I Track & Field Championships on June 5-8 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

All-American Sarah-Anne Brault will begin the three-day competition for the Mountaineers by competing in the 10,000-meter run at 9 p.m., on Thursday. The Winnepeg, Manitoba native placed 10th in the event at the NCAA Championships two years ago, but has only competed in the event once this season at the Stanford Invitational on March 29.

“Sarah has had such a wonderful career here at West Virginia,” coach Sean Cleary says. “This year has had a few untimely setbacks, but I firmly believe that should Sarah go out and run to her current abilities, that she will find herself with a legitimate shot at the NCAA finals.”

Chene Townsend is first up for WVU on Friday in the first round of the 100-meter hurdles at 5 p.m. Townsend posted a season-best time of 13.65 in the event at the Big 12 Championships on May 5 and ranks No. 39 in the East region. Townsend must place in the top three of her heat or have one of the next six best times to move into the quarterfinals on Saturday at 7:05 p.m.

“Chene was so close to making it into the NCAA finals last year,” Cleary says. “Since her first championship three years ago, Chene has always come through with a clutch performance when it matters most. Marty (Pushkin) and Chene have been working hard to refine a few little technical aspects of her race and believe that she is ready for this weekend.”

The Mountaineers have three competitors in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, with school record holder Jordan Hamric leading the group that will race at 8:50 p.m., on Friday. Hamric was runner-up at the Big 12 Championships with a personal-best time of 10:11.06 and ranks No. 8 in the East region and No. 18 nationally in the event.

“Jordan has solidified herself as one of the best steeplechasers in the country. She is very well aware that she will still need the best race of her life to qualify on to the national finals,” Cleary says. “Having watched her sister compete at the national level many times, Jordan would like nothing more than to be competing at the same level.”

Aubrey Moskal and Sarah Martinelli will be joining Hamric in the steeplechase. Moskal and Martinelli hold the fourth and fifth best times, respectively, in program history in the event. The top three from each of the three heats plus the next best three times will advance to nationals.

“This group is very unique in not only they were all scorers at the Big 12 Championships, but also that they all hail from Morgantown,” Cleary says. “Aubrey has come so very far as a collegiate runner during her time as a Mountaineer. We expect Aubrey to go out with a very big personal best.

“Sarah has been steady as a rock all year long. We have not seen even one average race by her since she began racing in September. As with her training partners, she has been flawless in preparations for this meet.”

WVU will have three field event competitors on Friday, with Heather Adams starting off in the hammer throw at 10 a.m. Adams broke the school record at the Big 12 Championships with a mark of 56.96 meters and ranks No. 33 in the East region.

“Heather had a fantastic Big 12 Championships,” Cleary says. “The finest moment of her collegiate career arrived in the meet that was most important to her. To have performed so well in that area will help her a great deal this weekend.”

Katlyn Shelar will also compete on Friday in the pole vault starting at 5 p.m. Shelar has broken the school record twice this season and sits at No. 12 in the East region and No. 27 nationally with a personal-best mark of 4.10 meters.

“Shelar is in a very good spot as she heads down to Greensboro,” Cleary says. “Katlyn has had very good workouts in preparation for the weekend and I am excited to see how she and the others handle this environment.”

Sydney Cummings is the final field event competitor for the Mountaineers on Friday where she will be competing in the high jump at 6 p.m. Cummings mark of 1.78 meters ranks No. 33 in the East region.

“The motto for Sydney all year has been ‘one more bar’ and this signifies that should she jump one more bar above the best she has ever jumped, she will be in Eugene,” Cleary says. “This year Sydney has moved to a new level in terms of consistency and she is very confident going into the meet.”

Stormy Nesbit is the last Mountaineer to see action, as she will be competing in the triple jump on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Nesbit was runner-up at the Big 12 Championships and is ranked No. 18 in the East region and No. 31 nationally with a mark of 12.81 meters.

“What a clutch performance at the Big 12 meet by Stormy. Sitting in seventh place, she leapt into the No. 2 spot in dramatic fashion,” Cleary says. “She has saved her best for the final moments of the season, which is exactly what is required for a well timed peak. Stormy knows she belongs at this level, is healthy and now posses confidence.”

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