May 19, 2016
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Eight of the West Virginia University track and field team qualified to compete at the 2016 Outdoor Track and Field NCAA East Preliminary Championships May 26-28 at Hodges Stadium on the campus of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida.
The 2016 season marks the second consecutive trip to the East Regional for Cashin, Kerekes, McNeil and Paladino.
“While we did not get everyone into the meet that we would have thought possible back in January, we did qualify a large number in an array of events,” said coach Sean Cleary. “I am very happy with this group and all that they sacrificed for to receive this special invitation. Eight individual qualifiers is one of the highest number of qualifiers that we have ever had. We should all be very proud of them.”
Kerekes and Paladino will represent the Mountaineers in the 1,500-meter run. Paladino qualifies after running a 4:21.09 and Kerekes qualifies with a time of 4:24.17, both times set at the Big 12 Championship.
In the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Cashin and Yuan qualified for West Virginia with their career-best times. Cashin qualifies with a career best of 10:21.36 at the Billy Hayes Invite and Yuan also qualifies with a career best of 10:27.39, earned at the Virginia Challenge.
Forsey will compete in the 5,000-meter run for WVU, as she qualifies in the event with a time of 16:05.89 set at the Stanford Invitational.
The 10,000-meter run will seek WVU’s Plombon as she qualified with a career-best time of 34:48.76 set at the Virginia Challenge.
McNeil and Stone will represent the Mountaineers in the field events. McNeil competes in the triple jump with her qualifying mark and outdoor career best of 12.76 meters set at the Texas Relays. Stone qualifies in the high jump with an outdoor career-best mark of 1.74 meters at the Virginia Challenge.
At last year’s NCAA East Prelims, seven Mountaineers qualified to compete. Then-senior Kaitlyn Gillespie competed in the in the 10,000-meter run, where she placed fifth with a time of 35:56.69, qualifying for the 2015 NCAA Championships.
Cashin and Paladino advanced to the quarterfinals in the 1,500 meter with their performances in the first round of the event. The two just missed the qualifying times for the NCAA National Championships. Kerekes narrowly missed the qualifying mark in the event to advance to the quarterfinals.
McNeil competed in the triple jump last year, taking seventh in the event.
For each individual event contested at each of the preliminary sites, the top 48 declared student-athletes were accepted into the competition. For each relay event, the top 24 declared relay teams were accepted into the competition. Combined events (Heptathlon and Decathlon) are not contested at the preliminary sites.
The 2016 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships are set for June 8-11 in Eugene, Oregon.