Kelly and Grant Qualify For NCAA Championships in Discus
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Seniors Caitlin Kelly and Billie-Jo Grant of the Virginia track and field team finished second and fifth, respectively, in the discus on Friday evening at the 2009 NCAA East Region Championships, automatically qualifying them for the NCAA Championships on June 10-13 in Fayetteville, Ark. In addition, four Cavaliers advanced to tomorrow’s regional finals with an opportunity to vie for a spot at this year’s national championships.
Kelly finished runner-up with a throw of 167’ 3” and will be making her first appearance at NCAAs, while Grant a three-time All-American – finished with a mark of 162’ 6” to advance to nationals for the second-straight year.
In today’s preliminary action, freshman Morgane Gay, senior Andrew Jesien and junior Kevin Tschirhart each advanced to tomorrow’s finals in the 1500m, while freshman Lance Roller advanced in the 800m.
Gay finished 10th overall with a personal-best time of 4:21.61, while Jesien finished second in his heat in 3:50.53 to automatically advance and Tschirhart finished 10th overall in 3:46.77. Roller won his 800m heat in 1:49.96 to automatically advance.
In other finals, sophomore Ryan Collins’ seventh-place finish in the 5000m in 14:25.57 guarantees him a spot in the pool of regional competitors considered for an at-large invitation to the NCAA Championships.
The Cavaliers will conclude competition at the NCAA East Region Championships tomorrow. Events will begin at 11 a.m., and conclude with the men’s steeplechase that begins at 7:40 p.m.