Washington & Jefferson College freshman standout Claire Anderson (Jamestown High) will see her exceptional first year reach the pinnacle as she punched her ticket ifor the upcoming 2023 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
The championships will be held May Thursday-Saturday at the Polisseni Track & Field Complex at St. John Fisher University in Rochester, N.Y.
For each individual event contested, including the decathlon and heptathlon, the top 22 declared student-athletes were accepted into the competition. For each relay event contested, the top 16 declared relay teams, one per institution, were accepted into the competition.
Anderson becomes the first W&J women’s student-athlete to compete for the Track & Field National Championships since Cheyenne Mangold did so in 2014. Anderson posted a school record time of 4:29.59 at Baldwin Wallace University on May 11 to gain the qualifying time in the 1500-meter run.
Anderson’s time ranks 12th among those on the qualifying list in the 1500. Anderson is one of three freshmen to qualify for the championships in the 1500.
“I am so proud of her,” said W&J head coach Derek Workman. “She has had to overcome a lot this year. For her, as a freshman, to be able to qualify is truly a remarkable accomplishment.
“It is extremely hard to qualify for Nationals in an individual sport like track and field. From a qualifying standpoint, it didn’t help matters that this is the deepest field in the history of the NCAA D-III for the women’s 1500, and it’s not even close.
“To give you a better understanding, prior to this year, in the history of the NCAA DIII women’s 1500, no more than 10 women in any given season cracked the 4:30.00 barrier heading into NCAAs. You used to be a lock in the top 10 as a sub 4:30 runner heading into Nationals. This year, the NCAA regular season ended with 22 women under 4:30.”
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