Three Blue Jays to Compete at NCAA Women's Track Championships
Johns Hopkins will have three entries in this week’s 2017 NCAA Division III Women’s Track Championships in Geneva, Ohio. The three individuals will compete in three different events starting with the 10K on Thursday, May 25 and concluding with the 5K on Saturday, May 27.
Below is a quick look at the three Blue Jay entries, how to watch and follow the action and their path to earning All-America honors.
10K (Thursday, May 25 • 9:45 am)
Live Results • Live Video
There are 22 entries in the 10k and two of those belong to Johns Hopkins with sophomores Felicia Koerner and Natalia Laspada earning entry. Koerner and LaSpada are two of just seven non-juniors or seniors in the 22-person field.
Based on qualifying times, Koerner is the number two seed in the event with a season-best time of 34:27.60, while LaSpada is 13th at 36:03.81. Only four of the 22 entered runners broke the 35-minute mark this season.
Competing on the national stage together is nothing new for Koerner and LaSpada, who both earned All-America honors with 29th and 31st-place finishes, respectively, for the NCAA-Champion Johns Hopkins women’s cross country team in the fall.
Steeplechase (Thursday, May 25 • 4 pm (Prelims) / Saturday, May 27 • 11:30 am (Finals))
Live Results • Live Video (Thursday) • Live Video (Saturday)
Sophomore Tasha Freed is one of 22 entries in the grueling 3,000-meter steeplechase. Freed has the 12th-best qualifying time among the 22 competitors (10:49.35).
Freed, the 2017 Centennial Conference Champion in the event, can move into the finals in one of two ways from the preliminaries. A top-five finish in her prelim earns her an automatic entry into the 14-person final as the top five in both prelims move on, while each of the next four best times – regardless of heat – also advance. Freed will run in the second of the two preliminaries.
5K (Saturday, May 27 • 3 pm)
Live Results • Live Video
Koerner couldn’t have asked for a better lineup for the championship. After competing in the 10K to open the meet on Thursday, her next event, the 5K, is the next-to-last event on Saturday.
Koerner’s qualifying time of 16:44.67 is the fourth-best among the 22 entries and she could use her effort at the 2017 NCAA Indoor Championships as a springboard. Competing in the 3K there, she earned a second-place finish just behind Ithaca’s Taryn Cordani, who is one of the three individuals seeded ahead of Koerner in this week’s 5K.
Like the 10K, the field for the 5K is dominated by junior and seniors. Koerner is one of just five freshmen and sophomores in the 22-person final.
The Path to All-America Status
The top eight finishers in each event earn All-America honors.
Johns Hopkins has produced three individual national champions in women’s track with all three claiming titles in field events. Sylke Knuppel won the Javelin at the 1992 and 1993 NCAA Division III Championships, while Kathy Darling earned gold with the 2003 national title in the Discus.
Individuals and relays with top-eight finishes earn points for their teams in the race for the team championship.
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