May 22, 2012
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Providence College men's and women's track and field teams will be well represented this week at the NCAA East Preliminaries. Seven veteran Friars will hit the track at the University of North Florida, bidding for a berth in the NCAA Championships in two weeks.
The student-athletes qualified for the regional competition based on their fastest times during the season.
"It's probably our largest number (advancing) in a few years," explained Director of Track and Cross Country Operations Ray Treacy. "That quite a few of them are going in with a chance of moving on to the next round is even better still."
The East regionals, taking place Thursday, May 24 through Saturday, May 26, will feature the initial qualifying heats for the national championships. Athletes finishing in the top portion of their respective fields will join the top competitors from the West at the title meet, beginning June 6 in Des Moines, Iowa. Collectively, the seven Friars bring strong credentials with them to Florida. Five have been All-Americans in either cross country or track, and three have earned BIG EAST Championships.
"(The regionals) are not going to faze them in any way," said Treacy. "They're excited to be going. For them, it's part of the process. It's a given, something that's expected of them, to make it this far."
The majority of the Friars will compete in the 5,000 meters this Saturday. On the women's side, sophomore Emily Sisson (Chesterfield, Mo.) enters ranked third out of a field of 48 competitors, thanks to a time of 15:34.54 on her resume. Sisson, a transfer from Wisconsin, will look to continue an outstanding first season in black and white. She earned Second-Team All-America honors in the indoor 3,000-meters and, earlier this month, claimed the BIG EAST title in the 5K.
Also in the 5,000-meter women's field will be Charlotte Ffrench O'Carroll (Dublin, Ireland). The senior, too, has enjoyed an outstanding campaign, claiming victory in the 3,000 meters at the prestigious Penn Relays.
Also representing the women's team will be two of the top steeplechase competitors in the country. Junior Shelby Greany (Suffern, N.Y.) and senior Hannah Davidson (Saratoga, Springs, N.Y.) join Friday's field fresh off a 1-2 performance at the BIG EAST Championships three weeks ago. Greany captured the conference title with a clocking of 10:08.76, less than a second ahead of her teammate Davidson in 10:09.70.
The regionals feature three steeplechase heats, with the top three finishers in each, plus the next three fastest performers, advancing to Des Moines. Greany and Davidson will likely run in the same heat, meaning they'll be able to work together.
"Familiarity might be a good thing," said Treacy. "We like to set a pretty quick tempo in the race, which means their heat will be very quick, I think, and they'll have a chance to make it all the way.
On the men's side, three senior stand-outs will represent PC this week. On Thursday, Julian Matthews (Nelson, New Zealand) will look to advance to the NCAA finals in the 1500 for the second year in a row. Already this season, Matthews was victorious at the New Zealand Track and Field national championships.
Saturday, classmates Lee Carey (Bedworth, England) and Dominic Channon (Nelson, New Zealand), will challenge a 48-runner field in the 5000-meters. Carey was the BIG EAST Champion during the 2010 cross country season, while Channon has been a picture of consistency throughout his four-year career, most recently earning All-Regional honors this fall. The two men have not raced since landing in the top six at the BIG EAST Championships on May 5, instead training specifically for this opportunity.
"I think Lee and Dom have improved considerably since the BIG EAST meet," explained Treacy. "We took a gamble after the Big EAST in the hopes that their times would be good enough to get them in (the regional field) without having to run another race. They trained for the three weeks, so I think that's going to be to their benefit on Saturday night."
- Go Friars -
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