|Senior Sarah Martinelli broke Jordan Hamric's school record in the 3,000 meter steeplechase earlier tonight to advance to Friday's NCAA Finals.
|Kirby Lee photo
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Senior Sarah Martinelli
of the West Virginia University track and field team set a school record and advanced on the first day at the 2014 Division I NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Ore, tonight.
"Tonight's race for Sarah was brilliantly run," says coach Sean Cleary. "Every split along the way was the fastest of her life. "
Martinelli, a Morgantown, W.Va., native, posted a time of 10:05.27 in the 3,000 meter steeplechase and finished fourth in her heat to advance to the NCAA finals of the 3,000 steeple on Friday night at 5:35 p.m., ET.
"Every distance runner's dream is to line up at the NCAA Championships," Cleary says. "To run the race of her life and qualify for the finals on Friday is a dream come true."
The top five finishers in each heat, as well as the two best other overall times earned a berth in Friday’s finals. Martinelli broke former Mountaineer Jordan Hamric’s school record of 10:06.47 in the event set at last season’s NCAA Finals.
"Two years in a row we have had a local girl qualify for this final," Cleary says. "These young ladies are role models in the highest regard. Sarah will go home and take an ice bath before a much needed rest day tomorrow."
Junior Allison Lasnicki
will be the next Mountaineer in competition this weekend. Lasnicki is scheduled to participate in the finals of the 10,000 meters on Thursday, June 12, at 10:15 p.m., ET. She is the only WVU competitor with prior experience at the NCAA Finals in Eugene, as she finished ninth overall in the 10,000 meters a season ago.
Senior Stormy Nesbit
will compete in the triple jump finals on Friday, June 13, at 6:25 p.m., ET. Nesbit recorded the best mark in school history (13.19 meters) in the event at the NCAA East Prelims to qualify her for the finals.
ESPNU and ESPN3.com will provide live coverage of the events throughout the week.
Information and results following each day of competition can be found at WVUsports.com.