Ramblers Seek to Qualify for NCAA Indoor Championships
Feb. 27, 2013
CHICAGO - After sweeping both the men's and women's team titles at the 2013 Horizon League Indoor Championships in Youngstown, Ohio last weekend, members of the Loyola University Chicago track & field squads will now turn their attention to qualifying for the NCAA Indoor Championships. Loyola head coach Randy Hasenbank hopes to get a few of his athletes through to the national meet.
"We are going to try to get James and Gina qualified for the NCAA Championships," stated Hasenbank. "They are both very capable. We also have a few relays that we want to get on the track one more time. The 4x400m relays have done well all season. This weekend really represents one of the only times we get an opportunity to run the event fresh. It usually falls at the end of a one or two-day event after the athletes have run several races. The men's distance medley relay is a race that we have really not made a deliberate attempt to run fast. I am looking forward to seeing what that quartet can do. I think they have a school record in them. We will send a couple of athletes, Paul Yovanic and Alison Szykowny, to Madison for a last chance meet as well."
The bulk of the action this weekend for the Ramblers will take place at the Alex Wilson Invitational, hosted by the University of Notre Dame. On Friday evening, senior Candice Carajohn and junior James McLachlan will kick off the action in the long jump. Carajohn currently ranks 53rd nationally in the event, while McLachlan ranks 20th. In the field, Gina Valgoi will set out to qualify in the 5000m. The senior out of Detroit, Mich. sits in 34th on the national board in the event. Rounding out the action on Friday in South Bend for the Ramblers will be the men's distance medley relay. Seniors Declan Murray and Ned Brady will team up with sophomores Kevin Glastetter and Sam Penzenstadler as the quartet has their sights set on a national berth.
Also competing on Friday will be junior Paul Yovanic and sophomore Alison Szykowny. The pair will see action at the Wisconsin NCAA Qualifier at The Shell in Madison. Yovanic ranks 66th in the weight throw, while Szykowny sits 197th in the shot put.
The Ramblers will have a full slate of action on Saturday to look forward to. Carajohn and McLachlan will again kick off the action for Loyola, this time in the triple jump. McLachlan ranks 27th in the event, while Carajohn resides in 72nd. The first action on the track for Loyola on Saturday will take place in the 800m. Senior Ned Brady and junior Ryan Van Portfliet will attempt to join senior Declan Murray, who owns the fifth fastest time in the nation, in the top-16 nationally. The lone freshman competing on the men's side will be the reigning Horizon League Track Newcomer of the Year Chris Strup in the 200m dash.
The 4x400m relay teams will be put on full display to close the action on Saturday. The women's relay team of Carajohn, sophomore Jade Kinney and freshmen Amber Davis and Rebecca Stearns will race first. They'll hope to eclipse their school-record time of 3:42.49, set at the GVSU Big Meet earlier this season. That mark currently has them at 58th nationally. On the men's side, Murray and Glastetter will be joined by senior Mike Wetzel and junior Bay Abbott as they attempt to climb the nationally leaderboard on which they currently sit in 26th on. They shattered the school record at the Meyo Invite in early February, which took place at the same track they'll be running on this Saturday.
In order to qualify for individual events at the NCAA Indoor Championship meet, competitors must rank in the top-16 on the national boards. For the relay teams to qualify, they will need to finish in the top-12 nationally. The NCAA Indoor Championships are set to be hosted by the University of Arkansas and will take place in Fayetteville, Ark., March 8-9.