In the final meets before the BIG EAST Outdoor Championships, the West Virginia track and field team splits this weekend for the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, Pa., and the Ashland Alumni Open in Ashland, Ohio.
WVU will send mid-distance runners Kaylyn Christopher and Letitia Propst to the Penn Relays to compete in the 3,000-meter run, which takes place Thursday night at 8:30 p.m.
Christopher will make her first appearance of the outdoor season after participating at the Sykes and Sabock Challenge and the BIG EAST Championships during the indoor season. Propst will run her first career 3,000-meter after competing in the 1,500-meter and 800-meter throughout her freshman outdoor campaign. Two weeks ago at the Jesse Owens Classic, she ran a season-best 4:40.90 in the 1,500-meter for 23rd place at the meet.
"This will be the first time Letitia has run this event, while Kaylyn is simply looking for a little tune-up for BIG EAST," says WVU coach Sean Cleary. "We are looking for her to blow out the cobwebs, while we want to show Letitia another level of competition."
Cleary will send throwers Terina Miller, Heather Adams, Alanna Pritts and Karissa Knabenshue to the Ashland Alumni Invitational to gain confidence heading into the BIG EAST Championships next week.
Miller, Adams and Pritts have all entered the WVU all-time top five marks list for the hammer throw this season. Miller looks to improve on a 55.25-meter throw from the Raleigh Relays, while Adams looks to extend her 53.29-meter throw from the Wake Forest Open. Pritts threw a 41.72-meter hammer throw at the Raleigh Relays, which is fifth-best on the WVU all-time list.
Adams and Knabenshue have had a breakout outdoor season in the discus throw as Adams threw a career-best 46.29 meters at the Raleigh Relays and Knabenshue threw a 41.61-meter at the Jesse Owens Classic, which are second- and fourth-best, respectively, on the WVU all-time bests list for the discus.
"This is a big throwing meet and specifically on the schedule for the opportunities presented for their event area," Cleary says. "We are also looking for them to fine-tune themselves for BIG EAST. It's important to go into BIG EAST with confidence. The momentum gained over the past few weeks and for those competing this weekend is very important."
A total of 18 athletes have qualified for 14 events at the BIG EAST Championships, which take place May 4-6 in Tampa, Fla.
Additional information and a schedule of events for the 2012 Penn Relays can be found at pennrelays.com.
Live stats and a schedule of events for the Ashland Alumni meet will be provided by finishtiming.com.