The Oglethorpe track and field team sent four athletes to the Torrin Lawrence Memorial in Athens on Saturday, as the group tried to improve their standing on the NCAA performance list in an effort to qualify for the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the end of the month.
Sophomore Arielle Shaw might have done just that, as she finished third in the triple jump at the meet with a season-best leap of 38 feet, 8.25 inches. Shaw went up against some very difficult competition, including Georgia's Keturah Orji, the American record holder in the triple jump and the fourth-place finisher in the discipline at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
More important than her third-place finish, though, was the fact that her jump vaulted her to 11th on the NCAA Division III performance list in the triple jump. That puts her in position to qualify for the national meet, as the female athletes with the top 22 marks at each event as of May 19 will earn a spot at the national meet, to be held May 25 through 27 in Geneva, Ohio.
Three other Stormy Petrels competed on Saturday, as well, as sophomore Nicolette Andrey joined freshmen Kayla Trice and Omari Miller at the event. Andrey finished sixth in the 400 meters, posting a time of 1 minute, 0.95 seconds, while Trice came in eighth in the 100, posting a mark of 12.23 seconds. Miller was dealing with an injury, but gutted out a seventh-place performance in the men's 800, finishing with a time of 1:57.79.
Trice and Miller found themselves up against some extremely stiff competition, as well, as a couple of professional runners competed at the meet and were interspersed amongst the various events.
Trice is now tied for 26th on the women's 100 meters performance list, so will need to shave some time off of her season-best 12.16 seconds at the SAA Track and Field Championships in late April in order to qualify for nationals.
"I was extremely proud of the way Arielle performed against very stiff competition," said Oglethorpe head coach Kirk Shellhouse. "She came up with the second-best jump of her career, and did so while competing against an American champion and Olympian. She's now in qualifying position, so we'll have to wait and see if she can maintain her spot. I also was proud of the way our other competitors gutted it out. We'll look to come back next weekend in a final attempt to qualify for the national meet."
The various Petrels attempting to qualify for the national meet will have one more chance, as the team will travel to Greensboro, North Carolina, on May 14 for the Aggie Last Chance meet.