After a strong regular season and solid BIG EAST finish, ten members of the West Virginia track and field team head to the 2012 NCAA East Regional from May 24-26 in Jacksonville, Fla.
Competing at the University of North Florida's Hodges Stadium, WVU will be represented by Jordan Hamric, Jessica O'Connell, Stephanie Caruso, Chelsea Carrier-Eades, Chené Townsend, Sydney Cummings, Katlyn Shelar, Stormy Nesbit, Meghan Mock and Terina Miller.
"Our girls are ready for NCAAs," says WVU coach Sean Cleary. "Their practices have come together really well and their conditioning has been wonderful. Our goal as a team is for each individual to go out and do her very best. You can't ask for more than that. I believe their training and effort to prepare for the championship season has been exceptional and I think they're going to do very well against the nation's best."
The top 48 athletes with the best times or distances for each event were selected to compete in the regional with hopes of advancing to the championship rounds, which are slated from June 6-9 at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. The top 12 finishers for each event at the regional advance to Des Moines.
Seniors Carrier-Eades and Mock and sophomore Nesbit open the meet for the Mountaineers with the long jump, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday. Stephanie Caruso will run the 10,000-meter at 9:40 p.m. Thursday evening.
Shelar will compete in the pole vault at 11 a.m. Friday morning before Cummings will look to top her 1.75-meter season-best in the high jump at 5 p.m. that evening. Carrier-Eades and Townsend compete in the first round of the 100-meter hurdles Friday evening at 5:30 p.m., while junior Jordan Hamric will run in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at 9:30 p.m.
Miller looks to advance to the NCAA championship rounds with a strong effort in the hammer throw Saturday at 2 p.m., while Nesbit will compete in the triple jump at 4:30 p.m. Carrier-Eades and Townsend, pending Friday's performance in the 100-meter hurdles first round, will run again in the event Saturday evening at 7:20 p.m. in the quarterfinals.
Senior O'Connell concludes the meet for WVU with the 5,000-meter run Saturday night at 8:45 p.m.
"We're bringing a very solid group of girls to the competition," Cleary says. "They're all capable of qualifying for the championships in Iowa in a couple of weeks. They're peaking at the right time, so their times and distances should continue to improve."
Flotrack coverage of the NCAA East Regional can be found at flotrack.org.