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Boston University's Allison Barwise, the USTFCCA Women's Field Athlete of the Year, headlines a group of eight student-athletes competing this week at the NCAA Championship meet.
Courtesy: America East Communications

NCAA Track & Field Championship Meet Begins Wednesday

Release: 06/05/2012
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DES MOINES, Iowa – Wednesday marks the continuation of the National Championship quests for eight America East student-athletes as they begin competition at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Drake Stadium. Action begins on Wednesday and concludes Saturday, June 9.

A pair of Vermont Catamounts and conference champions will compete during the first day of the Championship. Nika Ouellette, an honorable mention All-American in 2011, and junior Kirsten Weberg will get an early taste of national competition. Ouellette finished 19th in the javelin throw last year and dominated America East competition this year winning conference gold by over 25 feet. Just a sophomore, Ouellette enters the meet as the No. 10 seed after posting a 48.81-meter throw during regional competition. Weberg, meanwhile, broke the school record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (10:03.72) at the East Region meet en route to qualifying as the No. 8 overall seed. Weberg’s semifinal race begins at 8:45 ET.

Vermont has a league-high three competitors competing this week in Iowa. The remaining member of the trio, senior Morgan Powers, competes in the 10,000-meter run on Thursday night at 9:45 ET.

Thursday will also see the semifinal heats for both the men’s and women’s 1,500-meter runs. America East will have three student-athletes competing headlined by the 2012 national champion in the women’s indoor mile, Stony Brook’s Lucy Van Dalen. A four-time qualifier in the event, Van Dalen qualified eighth after running a 4:17.03 at the East Region meet. The senior from New Zealand will be making her seventh overall appearance at a national championship meet.

On the men’s side, Boston University’s Rich Peters and Binghamton’s Erik van Ingen look to qualify for Saturday’s final. The United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coach’s Association (USTFCCCA) announced Monday that van Ingen’s coach, Annette Acuff, is the Northeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year. Van Ingen qualified No. 21 but has a wealth of national championship experience making his seventh overall NCAA Championship appearance. Peters, who finished as the national runner-up in the indoor mile, is the No. 20 qualifier after winning his heat at the East Region meet in 3:48.36.

The men’s semifinal races begin at 7:15 ET on Thursday with the women’s races following shortly thereafter.

The USTFCCCA Northeast Regional Women’s Field Athlete of the Year, Boston University’s Allison Barwise, will compete in the high jump late Friday afternoon (5:30 ET). Barwise cleared 1.87 meters at the ECAC Championship and captured the East Region title in the high jump (1.81m) on her way to qualifying sixth. The America East’s Most Outstanding Field Performer and Coaches’ Award winner at the outdoor championship, Barwise finished fifth at the indoor national championship meet to earn All-America status this year.

Rounding out America East’s representatives in Iowa this week is Maine’s Corey Conner. The Black Bear senior, making the third NCAA Championship meet appearance of her career, enters the championship ranked 17th in the 5,000-meter run and will race Saturday afternoon at 1:19 ET.

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