Three Quakers Qualify for NCAA Outdoor Women's Track and Field Championships

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PHILADELPHIA - Junior Victoria Strickland (800 meters), sophomore Leslie Kovach (5,000 meters) and sophomore Morgan Wheeler (javelin) were among the championship field announced by the NCAA on Thursday afternoon. The three members of the University of Pennsylvania women's track and field team will compete in the NCAA East Preliminary Round, May 26-28, on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind.

In each region, the top 48 marks in each event qualify for the NCAA Preliminary Rounds.

Strickland ranks 34th in the East in the 800 meters with the fifth-best time in school history. She earned All-East honors with her time of 2:07.82. Kovach is the No. 8 seed in the 5,000 meters with her school record time of 16:11.59 from the Penn Relays. Wheeler is 36th in the region with her season-best toss - and the fourth-best mark in program history - of 44.44 meters (145 feet, 10 inches) that earned her All-East accolades.

The 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 (Bloomington, Ind.) and West (Eugene, Ore.), 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 8-11.

The start lists for the NCAA East Preliminary Round will be released by the NCAA on Tuesday. The meet begins Thursday at Indiana's E.C. Billy Hayes Track.