May 19th, 2015

Knights eye All-America finishes at NCAA Championships

Adam Pruiett

Bellarmine University Assistant S.I.D


Knights eye All-America finishes at NCAA Championships
Bellarmine track and field / file photo from bellarmine.edu/athletics

Four members of the Bellarmine University women's track and field team departed the NCAA Indoor Championships in mid-March with "All-American" attached to their name. Senior Meghan Jones added "x2" to that title.

Several Knights will be aiming for that coveted designation at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, which begin Thursday and run through Saturday at the GVSU Track & Field Complex in Allendale, Michigan.

Jones will look to add to her All-America collection. She's earned three such accolades already, including two at this season's indoor championships, where the Greenville, Indiana, native placed fifth in the 400-meter dash and anchored the 4x400 relay team that finished as the national runner-up. Jones garnered Great Lakes Valley Conference Athlete of the Year accolades in both track seasons, sharing the award in the latter with Lewis' Chantel Stennis.

Jones will line up at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 200, 400 and the 4x100 relay. Heading into the premier meet, she is ranked fifth nationally in the 400 and ninth in the 200. Jones will compete in the 400 preliminaries at 5:40 p.m. (ET) on Thursday and in the 200 prelims at 5:30 p.m. on Friday. The top two in each of the three heats plus the next three fastest times earn berths in the finals. From there, the top eight finishers will receive All-America acknowledgement.

"If Meghan can make the finals in both those events, she's all but guaranteed an All-American position," said Jim Vargo, Bellarmine's director of track and field and cross country.

Jones and GLVC Freshman of the Year Meghan Roby comprised half of the 4x100 relay team that placed second at the NCAA Indoor Championships, and that duo is part of the 4x400 team along with senior Olivia Wrocklage, junior Cidnei Johnson and freshman Chandler Cain that is competing at the NCAA outdoor installment. The group is ranked 14th nationally in the event, which has its preliminary portion starting at 4:50 p.m. on Thursday. The top two teams from two heats plus the next five fastest times advance to the finals.

"The difference is very minute between the teams that will likely run fourth through 12th," Vargo said. "If the women run up to the capabilities that they showed when they qualified, I have no doubt in my mind they will get into the top eight and be All-Americans."

Senior Emily Frith has qualified in the 5,000 and 10,000. Neither event has a prelims round. Frith is ranked 12th nationally leading into the 10,000, which will unfold at 8:10 p.m. on Thursday. She is rated 24th nationally in the 5,000, which is slated for 5 p.m. on Saturday. Injuries hindered Frith at the indoor meet.

"This time, knock on wood, she's healthy and running very well," Vargo said. "We expect her to challenge to be one of the top eight in the 10,000 and earn All-America honors.

"She can contend in the 5,000, but she would have to run over, performance-wise, a number of people to get into the top eight. Finishing fourth at (the NCAA) Cross Country (Championships) shows that on any given day she can run with the best in the country."

Senior Flannery Musk attained a bid in the 1,500 after placing second in the event at the GLVC Championships. The prelims in the event start at 5:10 p.m. on Thursday. The top-12 finishers in the 1,500 secure a spot in the finals.

"I will not be surprised if she advances to the finals," Vargo said.

The finals for five events that the Knights are competing in take place on Saturday. They start as follows: 4x100 relay, 2 p.m.; 1,500, 2:25 p.m.; 400, 3:05 p.m.; 200, 4:40 p.m.; 5,000, 5 p.m.

 

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