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Koons, Haglund, Mahon and Vargas Qualify to NCAA Regionals

April 14, 2008

VILLANOVA, Pa. - With a group of the women's distance runners in Arizona, and another in Miami, Fla., the Villanova track and field team was well-represented around the country over the weekend.

The women in Arizona had a stellar outing at the Sun Angel Classic. Six athletes notched conference qualifying marks, with three turning in NCAA Regional qualifying performances. At the Miami Elite Invitational one regional qualifying mark was set.

In the 1500m invitational senior Frances Koons finished second at the Classic, turning in a regional qualifying time of 4:18.75. This was the fifth fastest time in the country. Senior Akilah Vargas and freshman Callie Hogan ran conference qualifying marks of 4:26.62 and 4:29.64 respectively in the event. Vargas' time was also a regional-qualifying performance.

Senior Liz Haglund finished second in the 3000m steeplechase and broke the meet record turning in a time of 10:26.06 to qualify for NCAA Regionals.

The fourth NCAA regional qualifying time came from Miami where freshman Kristen Mahon ran 60.81 in the 400m hurdles, finishing seventh overall.

In Arizona, sophomore Theresa Rush and freshman Sarah Morrison both ran BIG EAST qualifying times of 4:35.45 and 4:36.77 respectively in the 1500m.

Freshman Jessona McDonald ran a BIG EAST qualifying mark of 24.66 in the 200m and picked up her second qualifying time at the Miami Elite Invitational when she crossed the finish line of the 400m in 55.59. Sophomore Makalia Griffith also hit a conference mark in the 400m, finishing in 55.98.



Senior Arusha McKenzie continued to notch impressive marks in the outdoor season. She ran a BIG EAST qualifying time of 2:09.98 in the 800m, just missing a regional qualifying mark by .18. Junior Jordan Sarruda ran a lifetime-best 2:13.19 in the 800m. This was her first 800m open of the season and she reached a conference qualifying time.

In the field events, senior Abby Smith had a BIG EAST qualifying throw of 36.23 in the javelin.

The day ended with Sarruda, Griffith, McDonald and Mahon running the 4x400m relay in 3:43.30 to finish fourth overall.