It was a busy weekend for our program and although we arrived back from Greensboro shortly ago, I have not yet gotten my arms around everything.
As everyone knows the NCAA has a new qualifying system this year to advance to the NCAA DI Championships in Track & Field. The nation is split into 2 regions (East & West)…The East region has 195 universities…while the West is comprised of ~98 schools….To qualify to the 1st round of the NCAA Championships you must achieve a mark in your event that ranks within the top 48 in your region. That’s been a nightmare for athletes and coaches. No one knows where they stand unless you have a mark like Matt Llano’s 28:51 in the 10K. Coaches have tried all season to “predict” what it will take in each event to rank in the top 48, but athletes keep rising to the occasion and posting even faster/better marks.
That brings us to this past weekend…We split our team into 3 meets this past week…Last Monday we had Amy Van Alstine in the 5K at the Swarthmore Invitational (see article link HERE) in Philadelphia…On Friday and Saturday we had our throwers and jumpers at Georgia Tech in Atlanta (See article links HERE Friday and HERE Saturday)…and last night our remaining distance runners competed at the UNC/NC A&T Invitational in Greensboro.
Each meet had its strengths… Philadelphia had the potential for the coolest weather and best field for Amy to run a fast 5K…Atlanta had the potential for the warmest/hottest weather and competition for the throwing and jumping events…While UNC moved their distance carnival to NC A&T due to a home Lacrosse game…the NC A&T meet is the only one of the three meets that held a 10K and a good 3K steeple.
Going into the weekend we knew Matt Llano was a lock for the NCAA 1st Round in the 10K since his time of 28:51 ranks 14th within the entire nation…We also knew Dana Guglielmo’s mark of 10:36 in the 3K steeple ranked in the top 32 within our East region, so we were confident that she was in. Heather Roush was ranked 32nd in the javelin also making her a lock…unfortunately, she broke her hand in multiple places last week in a car door accident ending her season.
From there everything was up in the air going into the weekend. Amy Van Alstine (5K-16:38), Meaghan McGovern (54.43M-Hammer Throw), Julie Rechel (36:00-10K before running 35:50 this weekend), Monica Howard (45.22M- Discus), Tim Quinn (30:18-10K), Garrett Graham (9:15-3K steeple) and Chris Eccelston (60.60M, Javelin Throw) all held marks within OR just out of the top 48 performances within our region…Nerve wracking for the athletes without question.
As we close the regular season Julie Rechel improved her 10K mark with a personal best of 35:50 last night in NC. Going into the 1st round of the NCAA Championships we now sit and wait until this Friday (May 21) when the top 48 in each event are announced. It might seem like its straight forward at this point but it is not. It’s not as simple as one might think because 1 athlete might have a top 48 performance in multiple events…events they have no intention of running at the NCAA Regional Championships next week. So, as athletes declare in 1 event and opt out of another some sitting at #49 on the regional lists moves up to #48 and has the opportunity to run the 1st round (NCAA region). For example, an athlete may have the 10th fast 5K time and the 46th fastest 10K time…Instead of running both at the NCAA Regional they may choose to only run the 5K which removes their name from consideration in the 10K. The declaration process will be painstaking…
Once again, now we wait and see what events athletes ranked within the top 48 list elect to declare. More on Friday evening!
Here are a few photos from the NC A&T Invitational on May 16, 2010...
Garrett Graham matched his PR from Princeton in the 3K steeple placing 6th (9:15.90). His splits 73.3 at 400M, 2:25.3 at 800M, 3:37.1 at 1200M, 4:49.3 at 1600M, 6:04.4 at 2K, 7:23.4 at 2400M, 8:37.5 at 2800M, 9:15.90 FAT at 3K steeple.
Benford and Graham early in the steeple...
By 2K Benford was running alone against the clock. His splits: 72.4at 400M, 2:24.3 at 800M, 3:34.4 at 1200M, 4:45.6 at 1600M, 5:57.4 at 2K, 7:13.4 at 2400M, 8:22.6 at 2800M, 9:00.79 FAT at 3K steeple finish.
Graham in the steeple at the 2400M point.
Dana Guglielmo on the start line of the 1500M where she placed 2nd in Heat #2 in a PR of 4:35.25. Her splits were 71.4 at 400M, 2:25.7 at 800M, 3:36.5 at 1200M and 4:35.25 FAT at the finish.
Benford returned to rabbit the 10K with teammate Tim Quinn. Quinn fell off pace just before 5K...still went through 5K in 15:02...
Julie Rechel was impressive in the 10K running a personal best despite multiple lightning/rain delays. The 10K started nearly 90 minutes later than scheduled at 11:20PM. Her time of 35:50.18 earned her 2nd place and a new personal best in the event.
1:26.1-- 5:43.8--1600M (1 Mile)
1:25.0-- 11:24.4--3200M (2 miles)
1:25.8-- 17:05.9--3 Miles
0:42.1-- 17:48.0-- at 5K
1:30.4-- 22:51.3--4 Miles
1:25.9-- 28:39.5--5 Miles
1:27.6-- 34:28.4--6 Miles
1:21.2-- 35:50.18 FAT 10K (2nd place in PR)
After the races the only place open with food was Jakes 24 Hour Diner...We were not choosy at 1:00AM! Tim Quinn smiles at the thought of an end of the season strawberry milkshake made with Hershey's Ice Cream.
Busy Track & Field Weekend Capped Off Late Sunday Night At N.C. A&T
Dana Guglielmo posted a career-best in the the 1,500m
By Mike DeGeorge
May 17, 2010
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Four Spider distance runners turned in impressive performances late Sunday night at the Tar Heel/Aggie Classic in Greensboro, N.C. capping a busy weekend for the University of Richmond track & field team.
Amid pouring rain and numerous lightning delays much of the evening, Dana Guglielmo battled the elements to post a personal-best time in the women's 1,500m. She put down a time of 4:35.25 and placed second in her heat.
Julie Rechel also posted a career-best time and placed second overall in the 10,000m in a time of 35:50.18. Garrett Graham was sixth in the 3,000m steeplechase, putting down a time of 9:15.90.
Spiders Wrap Up Georgia Tech Invitational
Monica Howard was 10th in the discus.
By Mike DeGeorge
May 15, 2010
ATLANTA, Ga. - Megan Ney and Monica Howard competed Saturday at the Georgia Tech Invitational in Atlanta and Howard took 10th in the discus, while Ney was 28th in the triple jump. Richmond will have athletes competing Sunday at the Tar Heel/Aggie Classic in Greensboro, N.C.
Howard posted a mark of 42.25m in the discus to place 10th. Ney jumped 11.65m in the triple jump, which was good for 28th.
Tim Quinn, Garrett Graham, Dana Guglielmo, Julie Rechel and Amy Van Alstine run Sunday for the Spiders in Greensboro.
These meets serve as final chances for athletes to improve on season-best marks for qualification into the NCAA Super East Regional, set for May 29-30 in Greensboro.
McGovern, Ney Compete Friday Night At Georgia Tech Invitational
Megan Ney and Monica Howard in action again Saturday.
By Mike DeGeorge
May 15, 2010
ATLANTA, Ga. - Meaghan McGovern and Megan Ney competed Friday night at the Georgia Tech Invitational in attempt to improve their season-best marks for qualification into the NCAA Super East Regional. McGovern was seventh in the hammer while Ney was 25th in the long jump.
McGovern posted a mark of 52.58m in the hammer throw finals, while Ney's mark of 5.46m was 25th overall - she did not reach the finals.
Monica Howard (Discus) and Ney (Triple) compete Saturday at Georgia Tech for the Spiders