McQuillen, Fung, and McCandless Advance to NCAA Championships Via Big Performances at NCAA First Round Seven Nittany Lions qualify for next round on the track
May 27, 2010
Karlee McQuillen (Johnston, Pa.) and Bianca Fung (North Babylon, N.Y.) got things off and rolling for the Nittany Lion track and field teams at the NCAA Eastern First Round at Irwin Bell Track on Thursday, advancing through to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in their respective events. Also punching his ticket to the NCAA Championships was senior Tyler McCandless (Bath, Pa.), who will represent the Nittany Lions in the 10,000-meters. McQuillen, who is already a two-time NCAA All-American, will make her third-straight NCAA appearance in the javelin, while Fung, thanks to an outstanding season-best effort, will make her second-consecutive NCAA outdoor trip in the long jump. The Nittany Lions were just as successful on the track, where six athletes advanced to the next round of their event.
McQuillen recorded a toss of 162-9 (49.62) - the third-best effort of the competition - to claim one of the 12 qualifying spots from the East Region in Eugene. Another 12 competitors will be accepted from the West Region, which is currently underway in Austin, Texas, to fill the field of 24. Fung launched a season-best 20-8 (6.30) on her fourth attempt - and first jump of the final round - to place sixth overall.
McCandless ran a spirited race in extremely humid conditions in the 10,000-meters, finishing sixth overall with a time of 29:51.45. The trip to Eugene will be the first NCAA Finals appearance for McCandless on the track, after qualifying for the NCAA Cross Country Championships in 2008. Fellow senior Cheryl Spring (The Woodlands, Texas) also represented the Nittany Lions in the 10,000, placing 36th overall in her final collegiate appearance.
The Lions enjoyed tremendous afternoon on the track, led off by three-for-three showing in the 400-meter hurdles, with senior Fawn Dorr (Akron, N.Y.), freshman Evonne Britton (El Paso, Texas), and junior Megan Duncan (North Huntingdon, Pa.) advancing to tomorrow's quarterfinal. All three Nittany Lions claimed one of the top three automatic qualifying spots in their first round heats, with Dorr running 57.33 - the sixth-best time in qualifying - Britton clocking a personal-best 58.01, and Duncan breaking the tape at 59.31. The next round of the event is set to run at 7:15 p.m. on Friday evening. Junior Shavon Greaves (Lakewood, N.J.) also cruised through to the next round, running 11.38 in the 100-meters, good for second in her heat and an automatic advancer to tomorrow's 6:15 p.m., quarterfinal.
On the men's side, 800-meter specialists Casimir Loxsom (New Haven, Conn.) and Ryan Foster (Tasmania, Australia) claimed spots in Friday's quarterfinal, which is set to go off at 6:30 p.m. Loxsom sprinted down the homestretch to take top honors in his prelim heat, finishing in 1:49.34. Foster placed second in his first round section, going 1:48.64, which was the fourth-fastest effort in qualifying.
Sophomore Caitlin Lane (Greenwich, N.Y.) also scored a qualifying performance, running 4:23.17 to earn automatic advancement in the women's 1500-meters. Lane mounted an outstanding finishing kick to pass a handful of competitors down the homestretch and place fourth overall in her section. The next round of the 1500 is set for 6:45 p.m., on Saturday.
Action at the NCAA Eastern First Round continues on Friday morning. The first scheduled Penn State event is the men's shot put, scheduled for 3:00 p.m.