Last-minute heroics by the 4x400 relay team of senior tri-captain Rachel Bloom, sophomores Kaleigh Fitzpatrick and Joyce Uang and freshman Jackie Ferry mean the Jumbos will be sending eight athletes to the NCAA Indoor Championships this weekend at St. Olaf's College in Northfield, Minn.
The 4x400 relay team won Friday's Trinity College Last Chance Meet, running 3:56.17. Nationally, their time edged out Wisconsin La Crosse by .13 seconds for the tenth and final spot on the NCAA Championship list. Last year at the Nationals, the eighth-seeded relay made it to the finals and took sixth place (3:58.76). Bloom and Fitzpatrick earned All-American distinction.
Joining the 4x400 relay team will be the Distance Medley Relay team of junior Sarah Crispin, sophomores Catherine Beck and Katy O'Brien and freshman Aubrey Wasser. The team ran 12:01.14 at the All-New England Championships last weekend at Boston University, fast enough to earn the seventh seed.
The team had the seventh seed last year as well, but ended up finishing tenth in 12:20.47, almost twenty seconds slower than their seed time. The team will undoubtedly be expecting a better showing this year in the event.
Beck will also run the 5,000 meters as the fifth seed. She has run the event only one other time this season, but once was enough, as she set a new school record (17:09.18) at the St. Valentine's Day Invitational at Boston University three weeks ago. She also made the trip to Nationals last season in the 5k, but did not run due to an injury.
O'Brien will also be competing individually in the 800 meters. She qualified for the event by taking second in the 800 at the Div. III New England Regional Championships, running 2:14.61. She is the fifteenth and final seed in the event.