Mountaineers Qualify for NCAAs

(L-R) Keri Bland, Karly Hamric and Marie-Louise Asselin

Photos courtesy of


By Kelly Tuckwiller for
May 29, 2010

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University track and field team qualified three student-athletes for the NCAA Championships today after a strong showing in the final day of the East Regionals in Greensboro, N.C.

Seniors Keri Bland, Karly Hamric and Marie-Louise Asselin all qualified for the finals in their respective events, giving the Mountaineers a total of five that will compete at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore.

“Leaving meets as enormous as this qualifier normally brings with it mix results,” coach Sean Cleary says. “Tonight saw three very big runs led by Keri (Bland) and Karly (Hamric) nailing first and second in their semi-final.”

Bland and Hamric were the first to qualify for the finals, after finishing in first and second in the second heat, respectively. Bland crossed the line with a time of 4:18.92, while Hamric followed with a time of 4:18.98. The duo placed seventh and eighth overall.

Junior Jessica O’Connell also had a good showing in the 1,500-meter race, but was tripped on the last leg. O’Connell still managed to finish in 10th place in her heat (4:30.05).

Asselin then qualified with an excellent showing in the 5,000-meter race, after crossing the line with a time of 16:20.43, to win the second heat and finish sixth overall.

Sophomore Kate Harrison also had a strong race, finishing in 13th place overall, while sophomore Ahna Lewis placed 26th (16:53.32).

“Marie-Louise ran a gigantic final lap to win her semi-final heat and Kate Harrison ran one of the finest races of her life to be the first runner to miss qualifying for the NCAAs,” Cleary says. “I am so proud of Kate’s run tonight – she will be back.”

Senior Clara Grandt (10,000 meters) and junior Katelyn Williams (High Jump) also qualified for the NCAA Championships on Thursday.

The 2010 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships are set for June 9-12, in Eugene, Ore.