Big East

Two Athletes Make All-Big 12 on Saturday

May 14, 2016

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University track and field team earned two All-Big 12 honors on Saturday, to highlight the second day of competition at the 2016 Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championship, held at the Lowdon Track and Field Complex in Fort Worth, Texas.

Two Mountaineers, freshman Danique Bryan and sophomore Sarah Finfrock earned All-Big 12 accolades for placing in the top-eight while six Mountaineers recorded career-best marks. West Virginia also had three who posted marks that rank within the top-five in WVU outdoor history.
“We has some very nice performances today,” said coach Sean Cleary. “Our pole vaulters had an excellent day. As freshmen, they continue to grow and they showed that they very much belong in this league. In time, I feel they will continue to move up the Big 12 ladder. Danique Bryan, also a freshman, snuck into the final for All-Big 12 honors. She has been very fun to watch develop this year. This is the beginning of what looks to be a great career at West Virginia.
Millie Paladino was also impressive in the 1500-meter run. Tomorrow’s final will be another opportunity to prepare for what is coming at the national championships. Overall, I feel our group competed very hard today. We also had a lot of near misses in terms of All-Big 12 honors, but I am very pleased with their efforts.”
Sophomore Millie Paladino took first in the preliminary round of the 1,500-meter run to qualify for the finals on Sunday at 6:20 p.m. ET. Paladino won the prelims with a career-best time of 4:21.09, the fifth-fastest outdoor time in team history. She improved 0.26 seconds from her previous best, set in the 2015 outdoor season.

West Virginia posted a top-eight finish in the long jump thanks to Bryan. She placed eighth with an outdoor career-best mark of 5.94 meters to earn All-Big 12 honors. She improved .08 meters from her previous best, set earlier this season at the Virginia Challenge.

Two Mountaineers competed in the pole vault, sophomores Sarah Finfrock and Madelin Gardner. Finfrock earned All-Big 12 honors for finishing in eighth-place with a career-best 3.91 meters, the third-best mark in program history. The mark came on her first attempt. Finfrock improved 0.16 meters from her previous best mark, set at this year’s Virginia Challenge.

Gardner also leaped an outdoor career-best distance of 3.91 meters to place 10th after her second attempt. She improved 0.01 meters from her previous best, also set at this year’s Virginia Challenge. She shares the third-best mark in WVU history with Finfrock.

Junior Brianna Kerekes and senior Kelly Williams competed in the 1,500 meter prelims. Kerekes placed 18th with a time of 4:34.84 and Williams was 20th (4:45.49).
Sophomores Shamoya McNeil and Meghan Jean-Baptiste also competed in the long jump. McNeil placed 13th with a distance of 5.67 and Baptiste placed 15th with a career-best mark of 5.48 meters. Baptiste improved .01 meters from her previous best score, set in the 2016 indoor season.
In the 400-meter prelims, sophomore Bria Welker placed 19th with a time of 57.24.
Sophomore Rebecca Wendt placed 23rd in the 800-meter run with a prelim time of 2:19.19.
In the 400-meter hurdles, freshman Chaqieta Robinson placed 12th with a career-best time of 1:03.57 at her first Big 12 Conference Championship.
Tomorrow’s final day of competition will start at noon ET, with the women’s discus. Live results can be found at Big12sports.com. Fans can watch Sunday’s running events live on www.foxsports.go.com.

Five Big 12 women’s track and field teams rank within the top 25 in the most recent USTFCCCA national rankings, including No. 5 Texas, No. 9 Kansas State, No. 15 Oklahoma, No. 21 Oklahoma State and No. 19 Baylor.

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