Carlyle and Gwacham Head to NCAA Track and Field West Regional
May 22, 2012
CORVALLIS, Ore. - The Oregon State track and field team will be sending two student-athletes to the NCAA Track and Field West Regional this weekend in Austin, Texas where Laura Carlyle will compete in the 1,500 meters and Obum Gwacham will compete in the high jump for a shot at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships set for June 6.
This will be Carlyle's third consecutive trip to regionals and Gwacham's second trip in his three year track career at Oregon State. Gwacham qualified for the west regional his freshman year, but didn't qualify for the NCAA Championships.
"I'm very excited to head back down to Texas because I feel like I have unfinished business to take care of," Gwacham said. "Freshman year, it came down to a jump off between Jordan Bishop and I for the last qualifier spot at NCAAs and he ended up winning. I'm hoping to put myself in a better situation to avoid being in the bottom of the pack this time around."
Gwacham will compete Saturday May 26 in the men's high jump at 3 p.m. PT. Along with the west regional, there will also be athletes competing in an east regional this weekend with a total of 48 athletes competing in each event.
Gwacham is currently tied for 11th out of the 48 athletes competing in the regionals this weekend with a jump of 7-1.50. His name joins several prominent track and field names on the Oregon State all-time list, where he is currently sixth all-time in the men's high jump.
"It is definitely a great honor to be on that list and it is still surprising to this day," Gwacham said. "There are a lot of people to thank, including Mike Riley, Brian Miller, Kelly Sullivan, John Radetich and so many others because they're the ones that made it possible. Hopefully, great things will continue to happen and I can move up on the list."
Carlyle will be kicking off the competition for the Beavers when she competes in the 1,500 meters quarterfinal round on Thursday May 24 at 4 p.m. PT. Carlyle is currently ranked eighth out of the 48 runners competing in the 1,500 meters this weekend and must finish in the top-12 of her race to advance to the semi-final run on Saturday.
This is Carlyle's third trip to the west regional and currently holds the school record in the 1,500 meters. Her school record time of 4:17.77 is what gave her a qualifying mark for regionals.
"It feels great to qualify for regionals again," Carlyle said. "I'm at the point in my running where I expect to be at these meets. It's kind of cool to see how my expectations have increased over my three years here."
Carlyle, who has been dealing with occasional allergy problems while in Oregon, is excited about going to Texas where the allergy counts won't be as high. She will be racing against several familiar faces, with several Pac-12 participants in the same race.
"I'm really excited to get out of the valley and give my lungs a chance to clear up, but my allergies haven't been too bad lately," Carlyle said. "I am also excited to race against familiar opponents. I think it's an advantage being in this conference because it has some of the best girls in the country and I race them frequently, so I am not intimidated by them."
Carlyle is also excited that she will have a familiar face competing with her this weekend in Gwacham. Last season, none of the men qualified for the west regionals, so Carlyle sees this as a big step in the direction of rebuilding the men's program.
"I think it's important to have as many Oregon State jerseys at regionals as possible," Carlyle said. "It's been a lot of fun having the guys become a part of our program over the last few years and I think it just shows the potential this program has in the future."
Fans wishing to follow along with the action this weekend in Texas can visit the NCAA Championship central page here.
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