Virginia Advances Four More Cavaliers to NCAA Championships
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Virginia track and field team qualified four more Cavaliers for the 2011 NCAA Track and Field Championships on Friday at the NCAA East Preliminary Round at Indiana University. Senior All-Americans Stephanie Garcia (steeplechase), Lyndsay Harper (800m) and Ayla Smith (400mH) all advanced in their respective events, while sophomore All-American Robby Andrews will represent Virginia at the national meet in the 800m. Junior Andy Fahringer qualified for NCAAs in the javelin yesterday.
Smith qualified for her first NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 400m hurdles by finishing second in her semifinal heat with a personal-best time 57.03. That mark moves her into second on Virginia’s all-time program records, trailing Erin Crawford’s school record of 56.87 from 2006.
The Winchester, Va., native becomes the third Cavalier in program history to compete at NCAAs in the 400m hurdles and the first since Erin Crawford in 2005-07. Angela Lee represented the Cavaliers in 1996-97 and 1999.
In the 800m, Harper finished third in her heat to advance to her first NCAA Outdoor Championship. An All-American during the indoor season, running the 800m leg of the distance medley relay, the Albuquerque, N.M, native shaved almost two seconds off from her personal-best time, battling with North Carolina’s Dominique Jackson and LSU’s Charlene Lipsey at the finishing line. Harper crossed in 2:05.84, while Jackson won the heat in 2:05.01 and Lipsey earned a time of 2:05.63.
Harper’s time moves her into third place on Virginia’s all-time program records and marks the fastest 800m time for a Cavalier in 26 years. All-American Gail Bryant set the school record at 2:04.21 in 1985, while All-American Kim Kelly ran 2:05.23 in 1984. Harper joins Bryant and Kelly, in addition to Jeanette Kelly, as the only Cavalier women to advance to the NCAA Championships in the 800m. She is also the first woman to do so since Bryant and Kim Kelly qualified for the 1985 championships. Jeanette Kelly competed in 1983-84.
On the men’s side, Andrews – the 2010 NCAA runner-up in the 800m during outdoors – advanced to his second-straight NCAA Outdoor Championship. Andrews won his heat in 1:47.89 and will take the top time into the semifinal round in Des Moines, Iowa.
In the preliminary round of the steeplechase, Garcia continued her dominance in the event, running a personal-best time of 9:54.76 to qualify for her fourth NCAA Championship in the event. Her finish betters her previous school record of 9:55.10, set at the 2011 ACC Championships.
In first round action, senior All-American Adams Abdulrazaaq advanced to the quarterfinals of the 110m hurdles, finishing runner-up in his heat with a time of 13.93. Abdulrazaaq will compete for a chance to advance to the NCAA Championships tomorrow at 7:20 p.m.
Virginia will conclude competition at the NCAA East Preliminary Round tomorrow. Junior Erin Wykoff will throw the discus at 11 a.m., while junior Morgane Gay will compete in the quarterfinal round of the 1500m at 6:30 p.m. Senior John Minen and sophomore Brett Johnson will run the quarterfinals of the men’s 1500m at 6:45 and Abdulrazaaq will round out the competition at 7:20 p.m.