By Jacob Most
March 1, 2013 -
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – With a spot in the NCAA Indoor Championships on the line, the Kentucky women’s distance medley relay team shattered the school record and positioned itself to qualify for next week’s National Championships on Friday.
The Wildcat relay team’s time of 11:00.55 smashed the previous school record by more than 17 seconds. That performance ranks sixth in the nation as of Friday evening, inside the top 12 required for a spot at the NCAA Championships to be held March 1-2 in Fayetteville, Ark..
“I can’t be prouder of these young women,” head coach Edrick Floreal said. “They exemplify the courage we want our team to display.”
For the first time this season Cally Macumber, Morganne Phillips, Allison Peare and Chelsea Oswald made up Kentucky’s DMR squad as they looked to book a trip to the Randal Tyson Track Center, site of 2013 NCAA Indoors.
Macumber -- a recent All-SEC selection at 3,000 meters after winning the conference race last weekend – led off, and she was ahead at the first exchange running an opening 1,200-meter leg of 3:20.09.
Morganne Phillips took the baton from Macumber for the 400M leg, and she increased the lead, before handing off to Allison Peare for the penultimate leg over 800M.
Three teams were neck and neck at the final exchange with Chelsea Oswald handling the final 1,600 meters for Kentucky.
Oswald set the pace for the majority of the leg, before giving way to the anchors from Michigan and Notre Dame, but the veteran cross country All-American would not waver in the slightest.
With a berth at Nationals in sight she would battle every last meter, and secure a huge school record time.
That time would qualify Kentucky for next week’s NCAA Championships with only a few “last chance” meets in the nation running DMRs this weekend.
Friday’s DMR inside the Loftus Sport Center produced five teams with NCAA qualifying performances, including the national leader.
On Saturday multiple Kentucky competitors will look to secure individual berths into the Sweet 16. In individual events, the top 16 times/marks qualify for NCAAs, while in relays the top 12 make it.
Wildcats are scheduled to compete at Notre Dame as well as Virginia Tech and Iowa State.
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