Feb. 27, 2013
Several Bruins will travel around the country this weekend for their last chance at a spot in next weekend's NCAA Indoor Championships. Known as "last chance weekend," this weekend is one of the biggest weekends for indoor track and field athletes. Some may already have put themselves in position to have a reservation in Fayetteville, this year's site for NCAA's, but many others are looking to have one more big day to catapult themselves into postseason contention.
For individual events, the top-16 declared athletes will advance to the Championships, while only the top-12 relay teams will qualify. This leaves shot putter Nicholas Scarvelis with a big task this weekend. Currently, Scarvelis is seeded 19th nationally in the shot put event (61-4/18.69m). The freshman boosted his seeding with a strong performance at MPSF Championships last weekend in Seattle, but he will need another big day to advance. He will travel to Ames, IA for the Iowa State Last Chance.
Also joining Scarvelis in Iowa will be sophomore sprinter Brea Buchanan. She too boosted herself in the national seedings last weekend at conference championships, and currently sits in t-27th in the 60m hurdles (8.30). It seems she will need to drop her time by at least 0.07s to have a shot at qualifying.
Women's pole vaulters Natasha Kolbo and Allison Koressel will travel to Seattle for the second weekend in a row for the Washington Final Qualifier. Koressel and Kolbo stand 11th and 21st, respectively, in the national seedings. So for Koressel this is a chance to boost her seeding and lock down a spot in the championships, but for Kolbo it is all or nothing. The two seniors will both need great showings to have flights booked to Fayetteville.
Finally, the men's distance medley relay team will run one last time in hopes of joining their teammates next weekend. The team, consisting of Daniel Herrera, Nick Hartle and Ferdinand Edman, put themselves on the national map with a win in the DMR at MPSFs last weekend. It was their first time ever running the event as a team, and they took the title in style (9:40.18).That performance places them in the t-7th position with Wisconsin's squad. If the regular season ended today, the Bruins DMR squad would qualify for NCAA's, however they know that their competitors will be looking to make up ground one last time. Therefore, the four will head to South Bend, IN for the Notre Dame Last Chance to secure themselves a spot.
There will also be one more Bruin competing this weekend, however he will not be looking for a last chance. Junior pole vaulter Mike Woepse is seeded t-second nationally in the pole vault (18-4.5/5.60m) and is certain for make it to NCAA Indoor Championships next weekend. But he will not take the weekend off, and instead heads once again to Albuquerque to compete in the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships. The world's oldest indoor track and field championships, this event brings together the nation's elite track and field athletes. Woepse looks to take advantage of this extra weekend of competition and fight for a chance at a USATF title.