Point Park's national qualifiers to compete at NAIA Indoor Nationals March 2-4
March 1, 2017 at 11:30 p.m. ET
Point Park T&F's (L to R): Katie Guarnaccia, Olukemi Olugbakinro, Anna Shields, Taylor Celich, Tyler Carter, Jryi Davis
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -- Point Park University men's and women's track & field has several individual qualifiers who are in Johnson City, Tenn., this weekend for the NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championship at East Tennessee State University.
The competition gets underway on Thursday at 1 p.m. ET. Click the links above for meet information and to follow the action with live video on the NAIA Network presented by Stretch Internet ($9.95) and live results.
The Point Park women's indoor team has Katie Guarnaccia (5,000 M) and Anna Shields (Mile, 1,000 M) competing in individual events. The Pioneers also have their women's distance medley relay team of Guarnaccia, Shields, Olukemi Olugbakinro and Taylor Celich in the national draw.
The Pioneers men's team has triple jumpers Jryi Davis and Tyler Carter qualified for the national indoor meet and set to compete there with that competition taking place on Saturday.
Qualification for the NAIA national championships in track and field are open to those who meet the NAIA A or B qualifying standard at meets throughout the regular season. The top eight finishers at each event at the national meet earn NAIA All-American honors. The NAIA team national championship is awarded to the team that has the most points scored by individuals who are there competing as national qualifiers.
The Point Park women's indoor team carries at No. 13 national ranking into the NAIA indoor meet. That's where the Pioneers rank in this week's US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association NAIA Top 25 Poll. The highest national ranking in team history is on the strength of Guarnaccia, Shields and the distance medley relay ranked highly in the nation.
Shields has led the way this year for the Pioneers. She is the NAIA Great Lakes Region Women's Indoor Track Athlete of the Year as awared by the USTFCCCA. She qualified for nationals in a total of five individual events and the DMR. She will compete in the NAIA indoor meet in the mile and 1,000 meters, both of which she ranks No. 1 in the country, with times of 4:49 and 2:49, respectively.
Shields also qualified for NAIA indoor meet in the 5,000 meters (17:12), the 3,000 meters (9:59) and the 800 meters (2:12). Her national rankings in those events are first in the 5,000, fifth in the 3,000 and third in the 800.
Guarnaccia is competing in the NAIA indoor meet for the second year in a row. She qualified with a time of 17:56 in the 5,000 meters this year, which ranks 12th in the nation. A junior, Guarnaccia has competed at the NAIA national meet three times in cross country, now two times in indoor track and one time last year in outdoor track.
Point Park's distance medley relay is ranked sixth in the nation with a time of 12:12 this season, a school record. Guarnaccia will leadoff with the 1,200, Olugbakinro will run the 400, Celich will take the 800 and Shields will provide the anchor in the mile. Olugbakinro is coming off a school-record of 60.14 seconds in the 400 at the Kent State Tuneup, the last time she ran that event. Also at that meet, Celich ran a personal-best of 2:28 in the 800.
Point Park's triple jumpers have Davis leading the way with his second NAIA indoor national meet qualification in the event. He qualified this year, his second time in a row, by leaping a personal-best distance of 14.29 meters earlier this year. That distance is ranked 11th in the NAIA.
Carter, a freshman, hit his NAIA qualification in the triple jump in his first collegiate meet. He did so with a distance of 14.05 meters, which is currently 21st in the country.
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NAIA MEN'S & WOMEN'S INDOOR TRACK & FIELD NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
March 2-4, 2017 at Johnson City, Tenn.
Thursday, March 2
4:00 p.m. -- Women's 5,000 Meters Prelims (Katie Guarnaccia)
7:30 p.m. -- Women's Distance Medley Relay Prelims (Guarnaccia, Olugbakinro, Celich, Shields)
Friday, March 3
4:15 p.m. -- Women's 1,000 Meters Prelims (Anna Shields)
Saturday, March 4
12:25 p.m. -- Women's Mile Finals (Anna Shields)
1:30 p.m. -- Men's Triple Jump Prelims & Finals (Jryi Davis, Tyler Carter)
2:25 p.m. -- Women's 1,000 Meters Finals (TBA)
3:35 p.m. -- Women's 5,000 Meters Finals (TBA)
4:20 p.m. -- Women's Distance Medley Relay Finals (TBA)