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NAMPA, Idaho-Virginia track and field junior Morgane Gay (Bethesda, Md.) qualified for the finals of the women’s mile on the first day of the NCAA Indoor Championships Friday (March 9) at the Jacksons Track Center.

Gay, who will be seeded second in tomorrow’s final, ran a time of 4:40.45, the second-fastest time in heat one. Lucy Van Dalen of Stony Brook won the heat in a Jacksons Track Center record time of 4:40.29. The junior was sixth after the 200- and 400-meter marks before starting to make a move towards the front.

“She came in focused and you can’t take anything for granted at this meet,” women’s distance coach Todd Morgan said. “You have to take care of Friday before you get a chance to race on Saturday and she did that. She ran smart, gave herself room to run the whole time and when it opened up, she slid up to the front.”

In the men’s shot put, freshman Nick Vena (Morristown, N.J.) placed 14th overall with a mark of 18.25m (59’10.5″) in his first collegiate national meet. Vena hit the mark of 18.25 in each of his first two throws and finished with a throw of 17.93m (58’10”).

The NCAA Championships continue Saturday at 12:30 p.m., as senior Marcus Robinson (Richmond, Va.) and junior Dallas Rose (Pearland, Texas) compete in the triple jump events. The men start at 7:30 p.m., while the women begin at 8:30 p.m. Gay will run in the women’s mile final at 8:25 p.m.

ESPN3 will stream the meet live on March 10 from 7:00-11:15 p.m. A tape delay of the championship will air Sunday, March 18 from 7:30-9:30 p.m., on ESPNU. and will stream what ESPN3 is not covering on Saturday (12:30-7:00 p.m.). All times are Eastern Standard.

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