Track & Field Off and Running ... and Throwing ... and Vaulting|
June 4, 2012
By Sam Weinberg
CINCINNATI - As the school year is coming to a close and most collegiate sports are winding down, four University of Cincinnati track and field student-athletes still have one final meet , and it's the biggest one of the year -- the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
"All of the athletes have done an amazing job this year to get to this point, so we're very excited for them to battle for a national title," said UC assistant women's coach and sprinters coach Chris Wineberg.
While Eby, Klump and Larsson had to punch their tickets to the final meet at the NCAA Preliminaries May 24-26, Cotten had already qualified with scores she had posted earlier in the year.
In addition to breaking her own school record in the indoor pentathlon this season, Cotten was also named the BIG EAST Most Outstanding Field Performer at the BIG EAST Indoor Championships in February.
"Cotten has had an amazing year," Wineberg said. "She was the indoor champion in the pentathlon, she was the outdoor champion in the heptathlon at the BIG EAST Championships, and she did all that despite overcoming an ankle injury [in 2011]."
And following the three days of preliminary rounds in Jacksonville, Fla., Elby, Klump and Larsson all posted the necessary scores in their respective events to join Cotten in Iowa.
On Day 1 of the preliminaries, Larsson -- a true freshman -- posted a distance of 48.48 meters in the javelin throw to place third in the preliminaries, coming up just short of her own school-record 50.59-meter toss .
Klump also had a solid Day 1 performance, posting a time of 2:05.09 in the 800-meter run to nab the second seed in the quarterfinal round.
On Day 2 of the preliminaries, Klump finished what she started by placing third in the 800-meter quarterfinals -- despite getting tripped up early in the race -- with a time of 2:05.05.
"Kathy has really excelled this year," Wineberg said. "She was fourth at the indoor national championships, which is the UC women's team's highest finish ever. We're very excited for her to go out and show that she's an All-American and improve on that fourth-place finish in the indoor championships."
In addition to Klump, Eby -- the 2012 BIG EAST outdoor pole vault champion -- also secured her spot in the NCAA Championships during Day 2 of the preliminaries, vaulting 4.05 meters to finish 11th.
Besides the three standout performances by Klump, Larsson and Eby, the women's 4x400 relay squad also had a good showing, clocking a time of 3:37.62 on Day 3 of the preliminaries to set a new school record.
Despite its record-setting performance, however, the relay team -- composed of Shanay Portis, Jalisa Jarrett, Aricka Rhodes and Klump -- placed 14th in Jacksonville, and was just two spots away from travelling to Iowa.
The NCAA Championships are slated for June 6-9 and will be televised nationally on ESPNU and ESPN3.