March 3, 2013
Last chance weekend was all that can be expected in such a high stakes situation, as track and field athletes across the country left it all out on the track in hopes of a spot at next weekend's NCAA Championships. Eight Bruins competed across five different events this weekend, each hoping to improve upon their best marks to claim one of the top 16 spots (or top 12 for relay events) needed to advance.
Sprinter Brea Buchanan was seeded t-27th in the women's 60m hurdles coming into the Iowa State Last Chance, and needed a big day to have a hope of jumping into the top 16. And that is exactly what she had. Buchanan took first in the final race, finishing in a time of 8.18. It is .12 better than her season's best mark going into this competition, and with this solid performance has put herself in position to compete in Fayetteville. Shot putter Nicholas Scarvelis also competed this weekend in Ames, IA. With a result of 18.08, Scarvelis was unable to improve his best mark (18.69). He is currently seeded 19th.
In Seattle, pole vaulters Natasha Kolbo and Allison Koressel also sought to jump in the national seedings. Heading into this weekend, Koressel and Kolbo stood 11th (13-11) and 21st (13-6¼), respectively. Both posted jumps of 12-11 and were therefore unable to boost their national seedings. Koressel is still in line to make next weekend's championships, as she still is inside the top-16. However, she awaits the performances of other pole vaulters around the country to determine if her best mark will hold up.
The men's distance medley team was also in line to make the championships headed into this weekend. Prior to this weekend's competitions, the group of Ferdinand Edman, Daniel Herrera, Nick Hartle and Pete Lauderdale stood seventh in the national seedings (9:40.18). They accomplished that result in their first time running as a unit at last weekend's MPSF Championships, and thus had hoped to improve their best mark to retain one of the top 12 positions. Yesterday at the Notre Dame Last Chance, the Bruin DMR team improved greatly on last week's performance (9:35.36), shaving almost five full second off their time. However, it was one of numerous great performances Saturday in South Bend. Despite the huge improvement, they finished 19th in the event and will not qualify for indoor championships.
Outside the collegiate season, this weekend was also the US Indoor Track and Field Championships. Two members of the Bruins track and field team participated this weekend in Albuquerque, NM at the national competition. First, volunteer heptathlon coach Sharon Day claimed the women's pentathlon title (4,478 points) on Saturday. The first year assistant for the Bruins is no stranger to the multi-event competitions. Day competed in London last summer at the 2012 Olympics for the United States, finishing 16th in the heptathlon.
Junior pole vaulter Mike Woepse is the second Bruin who saw action in Albuquerque this weekend. Currently, he stands t-second in the USTFCCCA national seedings for the men's pole vault (18-4½) and therefore did not need to take part in last chance weekend. On Sunday, Woepse finished fourth (18-0.5) in the men's pole vault event.
Official qualifiers for next week's NCAA Indoor Championships will be announced Monday evening.