PHILADELPHIA - Seniors Victoria Strickland (800), Paige Madison (400-meter hurdles) and Kristen Judge (high jump), and juniors Jillian Hart (pole vault) and Morgan Wheeler (javelin) were selected to compete in the NCAA Championships when the fields were announced by the NCAA on
Thursday afternoon. The five members of the University of
Pennsylvania women's track and field team will compete in the NCAA
East Preliminary Round, May 24-26, in Jacksonville, Fla.
In each region, the top 48 marks in each event qualify for the NCAA Preliminary Rounds.
Strickland will appear in the NCAA Championships for the second straight year in the 800 meters. She reached the NCAA Quarterfinals in the event last year. The senior co-captain made the cut into the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships by two-tenths of a second and is the No. 45 seed with her season-best time of 2:08.32 from the Penn-Princeton dual.
Wheeler will also be making her second straight appearance in the NCAA Championships. She finished 35th as a sophomore and enters 2012 as the No. 28 seed. Her toss on April 7 at the Penn Invite was the fourth-best in program history at 45.04 meters (147 feet, 9 inches).
Madison is in the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA Championships for the second time. Her last appearance was in 2010, when she finished just seven-tenths of a second short of the NCAA Quarterfinals. The senior co-captain is the only woman in school history to break the 60-second barrier in the event and enters the 2012 NCAA First Round ranked 25th with her season-best mark of 59.21 - which earned her All-Ivy honors at the Heptagonal Championships on May 6 at Franklin Field.
Hart and Judge will each make their NCAA Championships debut. Hart reached the meet with the second-best vault in program history, while Judge qualified by matching a school record in the high jump. Hart cleared 3.85 meters (12-07.50 ft.) to win at the Penn-Princeton dual. Moments later - across Franklin Field - Judge cleanly passed 1.75 meters (5-08.75 ft.). Those two marks ended as the exact cut-off for the NCAA Championships.
NCAA Championship meet extends over two weekends
in a three-week span at three different sites. The first weekend is now
known as the NCAA Preliminary Round and is broken up into two different
sites - East (Jacksonville, Fla.) and West (Austin, Texas), which host the
NCAA first round and quarterfinal round in each event as well as some
of the NCAA semifinals.
The top 24 finishers in the first round advance to the
quarterfinals where the top 12 will advance to compete in the
semifinals and finals of the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, June 7-9.