February 27 - March 5, 2011 -- Last Chance Week

Post date: Mar 7, 2011 4:31:01 AM

Following the Conference Championships, the Captains had three more meets to secure National Qualifying marks. The team took full advantage with six such performances and along with breaking four School Records and setting a total of forty-one Personal Records. For many it was a perfect ending to the Indoor Season while a few extended their season for one more week

Captains Stellar During Last-Chance Week

4 School Records & 6 National Qualifying Performances in 7 Days

Following the Conference Championships, the Captains had three more meets to secure National Qualifying marks and put a cap on the Indoor Season. The team took full advantage – 6 National Qualifying performances, 4 School Records, an additional 15 All-Time Performances, and 41 Personal Records.

George Mason Last Chance Meet

The first stop in last-chance week was at George Mason University where both Dira Hansen (Culpeper, VA) and Brittany Jacobs (Warrenton, VA) improved their National Qualifying marks. For Hansen, it was another run at the 800m and while she was not feeling

Photo by Jesse Hutcheson / Staff Photographer

particularly sharp, she responded to a late move by Alisa Harvey to kick in a 2:13.67 finish. That lowered her School Record another second and a half and made her =#10 on the Div. III National Lists. Jessica McClelland (Stafford, VA) wrapped up her rookie season with an indoor PR 2:28.62 in her section.

Jacobs continued what has been a season of consistency in the Long Jump with another incremental PR to 5.54m/18-2.25. She made a bigger gain in the Triple Jump where she came within an inch of adding a second National Qualifying event. Her 11.23m/36-10.25 also landed her at #7 on the CNU All-Time List.

The Pole Vaulters had a great day with four PRs matched or exceeded. Kalee Hammerton (Royersford, PA) led the way with a lifetime best matching 3.15m/10-4 clearance which reinforces her #4 ranking in CNU History. Joseph Taylor (Prince George, VA) did the same on the men’s side – his 4.25m/13-11.25 equaled his PR and #6 All-Time mark. David Fishman (Springfield, VA) continued the trend at 4.10m/13-5.25 (CNU =#9) along with Christopher Comeau (Chesapeake, VA) (3.95m/12-11.5 =PR). Alexander Hurd (Stafford, VA) jumped an outright PR at 3.80m/12-5.5.

In the Mile, Laurie Murphy (Louisa, VA) powered to another PR and improved her #2 standing on the CNU Lists with a 5:08.66 run. Rookie Erin Rolaf(Woodbridge, VA) dropped her indoor best down to 5:31.25. In the men’s race, Corey Lofton (Vienna, VA) cut another two seconds from his PR to 4:22.52 and moved up to #6 on the CNU All-Time List. In the men’s 800m, Matthew Winkler (Palmyra, VA) was left in the slow heat but ran a solo 1:55.76.

On the straightaway, Cheria Jackson (Woodbridge, VA) posted a PR 9.56 in the 60m Hurdles and ran 7.97 and 7.98 in the 60m Dash prelims and finals, respectively – just shy of the 7.87 Provisional Qualifying Standard. Frosh Jenna Elliott (Fredericksburg, VA) had two good jumps at 1.67m/5-5.75 but could not quite get that PR height.

CNU Last Chance Pentathlon

Three days later, the Captains lined up eight Pentathletes – including Dira Hansen and Cheria Jackson as last-minute adds to fill the women’s field to the 6-person minimum for qualifying purposes. Kwarteng Asare (Fairfax, VA) and Scott Teribury (Woodbridge, VA) filled the same roles for the men’s start-list.

Richard Roethel (Farmingville, VA) missed his chance to get an early qualifier when he was out sick for the Captain’s Invitational

Pentathlon in January. The defending All-American Decathlete, therefore, had a little bit of pressure to string together five solid events. His 8.13 run in the opening 55m Hurdles showed he was ready to go. Roethel followed up with two more Pentathlon bests in the Long Jump (6.52m/21-4.75) and Shot Put (12.51m/41-0.5). Moving to his best event, he scaled 1.96m/6-5 before raising the bar to 2.05m/6-8.75 in an attempt to save his injured jumping foot and to solidify his National Standing in that event. He came close, but could not quite get the double-dip. A 2:54.34 run in the 1,000m was enough to register a Pentathlon School Record 3629 and sit #4 on the Div. III National List, punching his ticket to the Championships.

The women’s event also started with strong hurdling by the Captains. Hansen and Jackson recorded matching times (and PRs) with their 9.10 second finishes. When they moved on to the High Jump, both kept finding ways to get over the bar as Jackson finally cleared 1.49m/4-10.5 as a first-timer and Hansen scaled 1.58m – a PR that moves her to #4 on the CNU All-Time List. Jenna Elliott’s experience with the Hurdles and Long Jump made the Pentathlon another opportunity to shoot for a Nationals-entry height in the High Jump. She slipped over 1.61m/5-3.25 before moving the bar to the 1.67m setting, but as was the case at George Mason, her good jumps were not quite good enough to keep the bar on the standards.

Hansen pushed a huge PR in the Shot Put to keep her roll going (7.60m/24-11.25). Hillary King (Ashland, VA) was just short of her open best, but her 7.37m/24-2.25 was a Pentathlon best. All five CNU women posted bests of some sort in the Long Jump: Hansen and Jackson tied once again with 5.23m/17-2 jumps (a PR for Jackson and a Pentathlon best for Hansen). Kalee Hammerton landed a PR 4.38m/14-4.5 just ahead of Elliott’s PR 4.35m/14-3.25. King got another Pentathlon best with her 4.10m/13-5.5 jump. Hansen closed out with a solo 2:18.20 (another Pentathlon PR) and 3309 points to shatter her School Record and rank #6 on the National List – assuring her a place at the Championships in what was supposed to be a throw-away event. Jackson ran a very good first-time 800m in 2:34.95 and ended up just 76 points shy of the Provisional Qualifying Standard (2926, CNU #2 All-Time). Elliott finished up with 2184 points and the #5 spot on the CNU List.

Virginia Tech Final Qualifier

The final stop on the last-chance tour was at Virginia Tech on their banked track. Joseph Taylor opened the day with a 4.33m/14-2.5 clearance in the Pole Vault which improved his hold on the #6 spot on CNU’s All-Time List. Shortly thereafter, Brittany Jacobs went to work on the raised runways ending in the sand pits. After a solid opener, she stretched her PR to a Nationals clinching 5.60m/18-4.5

and then added another centimeter on her final jump (5.61m/18-4.75). That moves her to =#8 in CNU History.

Cheria Jackson matched her 60m PR in the first round (7.97) and then lowered it by the slimmest of margins in the semi-finals (7.96). In between, Laurie Murphy improved her Mile PR to 5:07.41 (CNU #2) as did Corey Lofton (4:20.17, CNU #4). Kristen Bell (Vienna, VA) rode the tilted curves to a 60.07 PR in the 400m and Dira Hansen cruised to a 2:16.32 finish at twice the distance.

Matthew Winkler and Shaowei Tu (Mechanicsville, VA) lined up next for their 800m race. Finally getting a little help from the field, the senior powered a School Record 1:53.00 and on to the National Qualifiers’ List at #14 – on the bubble for the final entry list. Tu kept his elder teammate in sight for three laps before slipping back, but finished in a big PR 1:56.74 – #5 in CNU History.

Jackson and Bell each earned another PR in the 200m. Jackson’s 26.28 makes her the #8 one-lapper in CNU history. Bell was close behind in 26.77.

Entering “Selection Sunday”, five Captains sit on eight Nationals Lists. Three are guaranteed spots – Roethel in the Pentathlon (#4), Hansen in the Pentathlon (#7) and 800m (=#10), and Jacobs in the Long Jump (#11). Winkler is in range for an invite while Elliot’s and Roethel’s High Jump rankings (=#20 and =#19, respectively) are most likely not going to make the cut. Hansen is also on the 400m List (#21), but will pass on the event even with an invitation.

For complete CNU Results, check out the results pages: GMU Last Chance, Last Chance Pentathlon, VT Final Qualifier.

Photo by Ryan Kelly / Contributing Photographer