May 24, 2013
WASHINGTON - The second day of the 2013 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships East Prelim was a banner day for the Hoyas with three of the five athletes to step on the track advancing in their respective events to the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships final site. The Hoyas had five athletes participating in two events today at Irwin Belk Track on the campus of North Carolina A&T in Greensboro, N.C.
All-American Chelsea Cox has proven yet again that she is among the elite athletes in the country as she returns to the final site of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, this year in Eugene, Ore.
Cox was part of the 24-person women's 800-meter quarterfinal today that was broken up into three heats. The top three from each heat plus the next three times advancing to the semifinals in Eugene. Cox won the third heat with a time of 2:07.20. A mere 0.26 seconds separated the top three from the heat.
The men's 3,000-meter steeplechase is a three-heat semifinal with the top three from each heat and the next three best times advancing to the finals in Eugene. Three Hoyas were in the semifinals with Dylan Sorensen and Ryan Gil competing in the second heat and Max Darrah competing in the final heat.
Darrah guaranteed his own fate as he finished third in his heat to qualify automatically for the finals with a time of 8:47.82. Darrah stayed with the lead pack for the entirety of the race but really started to hit his stride in the fifth lap as he recorded the fastest split between the 1,812-meter and 2,208-meter mark (1:06.31) and again from the 2,208-meter and 2,604-meter mark (1:07.19). Darrah's time was ninth-fastest time overall.
Sorensen and Gil were both in heat two and stayed with each other for the entirety of the race. Both were in the front of a group that seemingly didn't spread too thin throughout the race. With the three auto qualifiers from the heat each splitting sub 1:05 over the final 394 meters, the trio was a lock, all breaking 8:50.00 for the race (8:43.46, 8:47.19, 8:47.44). Sorensen and Gil battled down the stretch with Sorensen edging out Gil with a time of 8:50.29 besting Gil's 8:50.52. Sorensen was the final qualifier on time with Gil recording the 13th-best time in the field, narrowly missing a trip to Eugene.
Andrea Keklak also competed in the women's 800-meter quarterfinal today. Running in the first of three heats, Keklak timed in at 2:08.41, taking seventh in her heat.
The Hoyas will continue at the 2013 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships East Prelim in Greensboro, N.C., tomorrow for the final day of the three-day meet.