JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Virginia women’s track and field program closed out the opening day of competition at the NCAA East Preliminary round on Thursday (May 25) as Sophie Atkinson punched her ticket to the NCAA Championships in the 10,000 meters while all three 1500-meter runners advanced to the quarterfinal at Hodges Stadium.
Atkinson Headed Home for the Championships
Sophie Atkinson became the third Cavalier to book a ticket to the NCAA Championships after placing eighth overall in the 10,000 meters.
- Atkinson entered as the east semifinal round as the 39th seed in a race in which only the top-12 advance
- The sophomore was up to the challenge as she posted a personal-best time of 33:53.56 to surge into eighth and secure her qualifying position
- A native of Katy, Texas, Atkinson will return to her home state to compete for a championship
- Atkinson becomes the first Cavalier to qualify for the NCAA Championships in the 10,000 meters since 2016 when Cleo Boyd placed ninth at the meet
- She advances to the NCAA Championships following a freshman campaign in which she was sidelined due to injury
Hear from Sophie Atkinson after qualifying for the NCAA Championships 🎙️#GoHoos⚔️ pic.twitter.com/7EdtIcUCpl
— Virginia Track & Field and Cross Country (@UVATFCC) May 26, 2023
In the 1500 meters, Virginia qualified all three of its competitors for the quarterfinal round. A trio of Esther Seeland, Anna Workman and Margot Appleton will all take the track on Saturday with a chance to advance to the NCAA Championships. The quarterfinals will be run on Saturday (May 27) at 5:15 p.m. where 12 runners will advance – the top five in each heat plus the next two fastest times.
Seeland led things off for Virginia running in heat one securing automatic qualification thanks to a second-place finish.
- Seeland clocked 4:19.80 posting the eighth-fastest qualifying time
- The transfer out of Division III Messiah will look to make an NCAA Championship appearance in her first season competing at the Division I level
- Seeland won an NCAA Division III title in the 1500 meters at Messiah in 2022
Anna Workman followed in the second heat automatically advancing thanks to a fifth-place finish.
- Workman clocked the fifth-fastest qualifying time running a personal-best 4:18.82
- In her second appearance at the NCAA east preliminary meet, Workman qualifies for the NCAA quarterfinal round for the first time in her career
Margot Appleton qualified out of the fourth heat thanks to her third-place finish ensuring all three Cavalier 1500 runners would advance.
- The reigning ACC Champion in the 1500 meters clocked 4:21.23 placing third to take the final automatic qualifier
- Appleton advances to the NCAA quarterfinals for the first time in her career after coming one step short in 2022
- An All-American in the indoor mile iand a catalyst for the UVA cross country squad, Appleton has the chance to make her third appearance at an NCAA Championship meet this season.
- Hanne Borstlap led a trio of Cavalier pole vaulters clearing a mark of 4.12 meters (13’6.25”) placing 14th overall to miss qualification for the NCAA Championships by just two places
- Alix Still and Jada Seaman each competed in the long jump posting 6.06 meters and 5.84 meters respectively
- Still has already qualified for the NCAA Championships in the heptathlon thanks to her school record point total of 5,662 points which she recorded at the Virginia Challenge earlier this season
From Director of Track and Field Vin Lananna:
“This meet is all about doing what it takes to advance to the next round. Our team did a great job of that today. Sophie Atkinson’s performance in the 10,000 was fabulous and an inspiration for the team. She ran an excellent race and executed her plan to perfection. Esther Seeland, Anna Workman and Margot Appleton all did very well to move on to the next round.”
The Cavalier men will resume their competition tomorrow (May 26) beginning with Wes Porter in the men’s 1500 meters at 5:15 p.m.