May 24, 2012
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -
Western Carolina track & field athletes Jocelyn Keen and Jamie Van Pelt begin their quest for an NCAA Outdoor Track & Field national championship Thursday night in Jacksonville, Fla., on the campus of the University of North Florida at Hodges Stadium. Keen is first up for the Catamounts with her 800m preliminary taking place Thursday at 8:35 p.m. with Van Pelt throwing in the hammer tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m.
The 800m run Thursday night will consist of six heats, with Keen running in the sixth. Keen's seed time of 2:07:68 ranks her seventh out of the nine participants in the heat, with Jacksonville's Joane Pierre's sixth fastest seed time just a hundredth of a second faster. LSU's Charlene Lipsey has the top seeded time in the heat and in the entire event with her time of 2:02.60. The top three from each of the six heats will advance to the quarterfinal which will take place on Friday afternoon with the next nine fastest times also qualifying for Friday. Then, the top three from each quarterfinal with the next best three times will advance to the NCAA Championships at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
Keen - the Southern Conference champion in the 800m - ran in seven finals races in the event in the 2012 outdoor season, never finishing outside of the top ten. Keen placed in the top three six times, winning four. She set a personal best in the event on May 5 at the Bob Pollock Invitational - 2:07.68 - knocking three seconds off her conference championship time of 2:10.99. She enters the preliminary as the No. 37 seed out of 48 total participants.
The hammer event on Friday morning consists of three preliminaries with 16 competitors in each. Van Pelt will be throwing in the first preliminary, seeded 11th out of 16 throwers. Each will throw three times in random order - not by seed - with the top 16 advancing to the finals for three more attempts. The top 12 from that group will go to Drake.
Jamie Van Pelt won the hammer throw at the 2012 SoCon Championships with his school record-breaking throw of 193-0 (58.84m) which broke Phillip Johnson's 13-year-old record of 183-8 set in 1999. The Tampa, Fla., native has competed in the hammer six times this season, with his lowest finish being ninth. His lone win in the event came at the SoCon Championships. Van Pelt is also the No. 37 seed for the hammer.
"It's a great honor for both Jocelyn and Jamie to get selected," said head coach Danny Williamson. "Both of these athletes have worked very hard this year and have earned the right to be a part of this process. We are looking for big things out of both of them because we feel like with both athletes, the best is yet to come."
Recaps of both events can be found on CatamountSports.com with live results linked to CatamountSports.com. For more information on the meet, visit the track & field page of unfosprey.com.