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Ten Vikings qualify for NCAA Outdoor Championships

Augustana College
Augustana College

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (KWSN)- Augustana will send 10 athletes to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Allendale, Mich. on May 22-24.

The official accepted entries were released on Tuesday afternoon and the Vikings tied the most they have ever sent to the national meet with three men and seven women. With 10 athletes in competition at the NCAA Championships, Augustana sends the most competitors in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.

Augustana's 10 athletes ties the most Vikings in NCAA postseason competition with the 2010 team. "We are extremely pleased that we have 10 athletes selected to compete in the outdoor national championships," head coach Tracy Hellman said. "It is always difficult to qualify for the Nationals and we feel this group will represent Augustana well." Four Vikings will be returning to the NCAA Outdoor Championships and six will be making their first appearance.

Leading the returnees, multiple All-Americans Kyle Blakeslee and Kristin Brondbo will both compete in two events. Blakeslee will be seeking her third All-America finish in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase and will be joined by Brondbo in the 5,000-meter run. Brondbo also earned a spot in the 1,500-meter field, an event she earned her first track All-American honors in 2011. 

The men's returnees are headlined by former national champion Aduo Omot who qualified in the 800-meter run looking to recapture his winning ways of 2011. Harald Karbo earned a spot in the 3,000-meter steeplechase field after qualifying and making the finals in the same event last season. "We have a positive feeling heading into the meet," Hellman said. "Many of our competitors have qualified for the national championships in the past and have performed well." 

Henrik Hansson broke the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference meet record in the 1,500-meter run and earned a spot in his first Kayla Mescher will also compete in two events after breaking two Augustana records. Mescher defended her NSIC title in the women's 400-meter hurdles while clocking a national-qualifying time and breaking the Viking record. Mescher will be joined by Colleen Everson, Carina Hofmeister, and Anne Parsley in the 4x400-meter relay.

The Augustana quartet shattered Augustana's previous record to earn a spot in the 14-team field. The Vikings are idle this coming weekend as they prepare for the national meet on May 22-24 in Allendale, Mich

Courtesy: Augustana College