Laura Carlyle Qualifies for NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships
May 26, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas – The Oregon State track and field team will be sending Laura Carlyle to the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships June 6-9 in Des Moines, Iowa after she turned in a qualifying performance today at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field West Regional in Austin, Texas.
“She really has just done an amazing job with these last three opportunities with her qualifying last spring in the 5,000 meters, this spring when she made it to the NCAA Indoor Championships for the mile and now to be able to come here and run all the way into the end of May is amazing,” head coach Kelly Sullivan said.
Carlyle competed in the 1,500 meter quarterfinal against some of the best competition in the country in heat one of the event. With only two heats being run today instead of four, only the top five from each heat and the two fastest times after that would qualify for the NCAA Championships.
Carlyle finished in fifth place with a time of 4:20.32. Last year she made school history by being the first Oregon State female athlete to qualify for the NCAA Championships since the program was reinstated. She made history again today by being the first Oregon State athlete since 1986 to qualify for the NCAA Championships two years in a row.
“It is really a credit to her ability to just keep something going for eight months of running with cross country, indoor track and now outdoor track, Sullivand said. “Distance runners are a very unique category because they don’t have one season and call it a year. She is finishing up her third season and she will go down as one of the finest athletes in Oregon State history on the women’s side, there is no question there.”
Obum Gwacham also competed today for the Beavers in the men’s high jump, but was unable to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Gwacham cleared 6-9.75, but unfortunately that didn’t qualify him for the next round.
“I’m sure he is disappointed because he had high hopes coming in, but he has had a bit of a sore knee on his take-off leg, so he probably didn’t get as much jumping in the last week or so because of what he was cleared to do,” Sullivan said. “His height over the bar was phenomenal, but his timing was off today and that event is all about timing.”
Gwacham has made a name for himself as one of the best athletes in the country this year with being a dominant wide receiver for the football team and one of the best high jumpers in the country. He has placed his name in Oregon State track and field history by being sixth all-time in the men’s high jump.
“He is really one of the best two-sport athletes in the country, and he continues to prove that,” Sullivan said. “You can’t put a price tag on the fact that Oregon State continues to bring quality athletes to the programs. We are really fortunate with Coach Riley and his staff and that they really embrace this. We have another year with Obum next year and he is just going to get better and have a breakout football season and then come compete with us.”
Carlyle will now compete June 6-9 at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships set in Des Moines, Iowa. Fans can learn more about the championship, along with a schedule of events that will be posted after the regional this weekend at www.ncaa.com.
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