Women’s Track & Field sends four to NCAA Division I championships
Eastern Michigan University’s women’s track and field completed their showing at the NCAA East Regional on May 30, with a total of three of the four Eagles that competed advancing to the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships, June 11-14 in Eugene, Ore.
The day started out with the pole vault, in which sophomore Ellie Braidic cleared a height of 3.90 meters/12 feet 9.50-inches. She then attempted to set a new personal record at 4.05 meters/13 feet 3.50-inches but was unable to complete her three attempts, finishing in 24th place overall.
At 6:15 p.m., after over an hour delay due to inclement weather, senior Kate Wolanin competed against some of the best collegiate high jumpers in the nation, and came away with a qualifying mark for the NCAA Championships. The senior cleared a height of 1.77 meters/5 feet 9.75-inches, which was just shy of her personal best recorded at the 2014 Mid-American Conference Championships.
With her jump, Wolanin will join teammate senior Sarah Chauchard who has already earned an automatic qualification in the heptathlon, in the small yet impressive group of athletes that will be heading to Eugene.
The Green and White then competed in two events on the track, beginning with MAC champion sophomore Aaliyah McKinney in the 200m dash preliminaries. McKinney was unable to secure a spot in the next round, ending her sophomore campaign in Florida after winning both the 100m and 200m at the conference meet and representing EMU at the NCAA East Regional.
In the final event of the evening, two-time 3000m steeplechase MAC champion junior Victoria Voronko kept pace with Michigan State’s Leah O’Connor, who holds the third-best time in the nation for the majority of the first heat along with Iona’s Maya Rehberg.
As O’Connor broke away from the pack going into the final kilometer, Rehberg and Voronko continued to stay in the top three and earned their spots at the NCAA Championships. The Russian native finished the race with a time of 10 minutes 4.89 seconds, breaking her own EMU record previously set when she won her second consecutive MAC championship title on May 16th.
The Eagles will end their season in Eugene, Ore., when Chauchard, Voronko, and Wolanin compete in their respective events. The NCAA Championships will span four days, running from June 11-14.