April 1st, 2012

CLAREMONT, Calif -- The California-Nevada Track and Field Championships began Saturday in Claremont, CA, hosted by Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges.  Entrance to the meet is based on times submitted through the TFRRS system during the months of January, February, and March; in order to qualify for the meet, athletes from invited schools must post one of the top 36 times in their event.

The evening began with Micayla Frankian running in the women’s 3000m steeplechase.  Although the night proved to produce slow times in the distance events, Micayla was somewhat disappointed with her 13:00 race.  Coming off a big week of training and struggling through some calve pain, Frankian endured a tough race and looked much more confident going over the barriers than she did just two weeks ago.

Hannah Kellerman and Katrina Graham represented TMC in the 5000m.  Kellerman looked great throughout the first eight laps, but suffered late in the race, finishing 18th place with a time of 18:38.  Teammate Graham crossed the line a few spots back in 22nd, running 18:55.  Though not the evening either women had hoped for, both Kellerman and Graham are confident in their training and are excited to come out and race big in two weeks and the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational where Kellerman will look to chase down a national qualifying mark in the 1500m.

However, most notable for the Lady Mustangs was Ayla Draper’s performance in the 400m hurdles earlier that day.  Looking smooth and strong over the first five hurdles, draper mis-stepped somewhat going over hurdle six, but recovered well.  As she approached hurdle eight, an opponent in the lane next to Ayla stumbled, knocking her hurdle into Draper’s lane and bumping Ayla’s hurdle.  Again, Draper recovered well, staying in the race and finishing with a time of 1:04.9, just two hundredths of a second off the national qualifying mark.  Coach Denean Hill is confident Ayla will qualify with her next opportunity.

The Lady Mustangs compete next at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational on April 14th.