April 24, 2008
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -
The Auburn track and field teams opened competition Thursday during the opening day of the 114th Penn Relays, with just women competing on the first day for the Tigers. The women posted one new regional qualifying mark, one NCAA provisional time and advanced two relay teams to finals during Thursday's competition.
Sophomore Laurel Pritchard earned her first regional qualifying mark in the 5000m, finishing 13th with a time of 16:51.90, which ranks her seventh in school history. Pritchard, who already had a provisional qualifying mark in the 10k this season, beat the regional qualifying standard by one-tenth of a second.
Hollie Knight also met a qualifying standard in a close call, finishing fourth in the 10,000m with a time of 34:59.18, just beating the provisional qualifying mark of 35:00.00 by .82 seconds. Her time ranks her fourth in school history, one spot behind Pritchard.
The women's 4x100m relay team of Shaquela Williams, Joanna Atkins, Cache Armbrister and Amelia Anderson survived a bobble on the final exchange and still managed to win their heat with a time of 44.66, advancing to Friday's final by posting the eighth fastest overall time in the prelims.
The women's 4x400m relay team just missed making the Championship of America final by one spot, but will still compete in the college final, after finishing ninth in the prelims. The team of Anderson, Armbrister, DeAngela McDougald and Atkins posted a time of 3:36.81 and will compete again on Saturday.
Also for Auburn on Thursday, freshman Amber Riley
improved her season-best time in the steeplechase to 10:56.30 while finishing 20th overall, coming up just short of the regional qualifying time of 10:52.25.
Freshman Latoya Parkinson finished ninth in the women's 400m hurdles with a time of 1:00.96, just missing improving on her season-best time of 1:00.65. Sophomore Sabrina Fischer placed 16th in the women's 3000m with a time of 10:01.06.
Meanwhile, Auburn had a quartet of throwers compete at a USATF Discus Development Series Meet in Chula Vista, Calif. On the men's side, Zach Clayton was first in the "B" section with a mark of 57.22m (187-8) and Eric Werskey was second with a throw of 56.83m (186-5). Edis Elkasevic finished 10th in the "A" section with a mark of 54.45m (178-7). For the women, Katalin Mate was fourth in the women's "A" section with a mark of 51.77m (169-10).
Action continues at the Penn Relays through Saturday. The Tigers also have athletes competing Friday at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, and the Triton Invitational in San Diego.