NCAA Outdoor track and field championships British preview

NCAA Preview Women

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Eight British women have survived the regional cut and earned the right to compete at the Division 1 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, taking place in Eugene, Oregon. As is almost always the case, nearly of these athletes are middle and long distance runners, though we do have a previous winner lining up in the javelin as the lone female field event representative. See below for notes and stats on each competitor, we will follow this tomorrow with exactly the same for the mens qualifiers.

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Women (8)

Rosie Clarke – 1500m – Iona – JR – SB 4:12.10

The indoor mile fourth placer qualified easily from the East regional, winning both her heat and quarter final races. Her PB this year of 4.12 ranks her amongst the top few in the NCAA, and the fact that she has won five races this year is a good habit to take to Eugene with her. Along with Rhianwedd Price, this should be a great Brit battle.

Previous NCAA outdoor experience: N/A

Rhianwedd Price – 1500m – Mississippi State SO – SB 4:10.95

Yet another athlete who set a lifetime best at the regional qualifier, Rhianwedd Price heads to Eugene with the fastest time in the NCAA of 4.10. The Mississippi State athlete has competed lots this year, though is clearly improving as the season goes on and we expect her to be very much in the mix at her debut NCAA Championship.

Previous NCAA outdoor experience: N/A

Elizabeth Bird – 3000m SC – Princeton – SO – SB 9:54.76  

The Ivy League champion has found her best form at exactly the right time. Having recently gone sub 10 for the first time in the steeplechase with a 9.58 in April, she improved on this at the regional qualifier to set another new lifetime best of 9.54. With NCAA’s being very much about momentum and current form, the Princeton athlete should go very well in Eugene.

Previous NCAA outdoor experience: N/A

Kate Avery – 5000m – Iona – JR – SB 15:25.63

The reigning NCAA Cross Country Champion has only competed three times outdoor on the track so far in 2015, though has already achieved great things. Her 31.41 10,000m at Stanford was an IAAF A Standard and should qualify her for the World Championships in Beijing, and prior to that she ran a very impressive 15.25 for 5000m. Avery qualified with ease from the East regional and has a great chance of adding to the cross country title she won so impressively in Terre Haute last November.

Previous NCAA outdoor experience: 2014 – 5000m 8th

Bethan Knights – 5000m – California – FR – SB 16:02.49

Although a product of the American high school system, Bethan Knights was born and grew up in Britain and as far as we are she remains a British citizen. The California athlete qualified impressively by winning the 5000m at the West regional.

Previous NCAA outdoor experience: N/A

Calli Thackery – 5000m – New Mexico – JR – SB 15:42.57

No NCAA event would be complete without some Joe Franklin coached British representatives. Calli Thackery has made big improvements to her 5000m personal best this year, going from 16.18 to 15.42. She will be looking to build on a 13th place finish over 3000m indoors.

Previous NCAA outdoor experience: N/A

Alice Wright – 10,000m – New Mexico – SO – SB 32:56.33

Prior to this year Alice Wright had not competed outdoors on the track since 2011. This seemed to matter little as the red shirt freshman has enjoyed a fine season, competing like a seasoned veteran over the longer distances. She completed an impressive double at the Mountain West Conference winning the 5000m and 10,000m and qualified impressively in the longer event by finishing second at the West regional.

Previous NCAA outdoor experience: N/A

Freya Jones – Javelin – Georgia – JR – SB 53.87

The 2013 NCAA javelin champion comes into this years event having competed only four times all season. However, all four events resulted in top 3 finishes, including a strong runners up finish at the SEC Championships. The former champion is ranked 8th in the NCAA and will look to use her championship experience to finish on top of the podium again.

Previous NCAA outdoor experience: 2013 Javelin 1st, 2014 Javelin 6th

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