MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University track and field team concluded competition at the 2021 Big 12 Indoor Track and Field Championships with eight Big 12 honors at the two-day championship meet, on Saturday in Lubbock, Texas.
“Entering this meet we had a goal to bring home eight All-Big 12 performances,” said coach Sean Cleary. “The eight awards that we are bringing home were well deserved. The distance medley relay was a high point in our program’s history. Winning that championship was extremely gratifying. We saw almost every single performance listed as a seasonal or lifetime best. With most of our team being freshman and sophomore’s we will take this momentum and build on it.”
The Mountaineer’s opened the day with the women’s mile. Redshirt junior Hayley Jackson led the way for WVU placing second with a finishing time of 4:57.10.
Up next, WVU participated in the women’s 1,000-meter race, where junior Mikenna Vanderheyden placed third with a time of 2:48.16 and freshman Abigale Mullings placed ninth in high jump with a height of 1.71 meters. Freshman Jo-Lauren Keane finished seventh in the women’s 800-meter race with a time of 2:12.72.
A trio of Mountaineers participated in the women’s 3,000-meter race. Redshirt freshman Ceili McCabe finished in second place with a time of 9:25.32. She was followed by junior Katherine Dowie (10:04.30) and senior Marianne Abdalah (10:35.69) who placed 11th and 20th, respectively.
The day ended with the 4×400 meter relay where the team of redshirt sophomore Amber Dombrowski, junior Tessa Constantine, freshman Lilly McMullen placed and Keane10th with a finishing time of 3:52.27.
“This was Mikenna and Jo’s first finals in a WVU Uniform, Cleary said. “I feel confident that this is the beginning of what can be a stellar career. Hayley was also a huge contributor with her lead off 1,200 leg on the DMR and a second-place finish in the mile.”
On Friday, McCabe helped West Virginia’s distance medley relay team to a first-place, Gold-medal finish. Jackson, Constantine and Keane joined McCabe to claim the Mountaineers’ first title since joining the conference.
Additionally, sophomore Erica Hegele opened the meet for WVU in the women’s pentathlon. She earned a 10th-place finish in the event, earning 3,199 points. She placed ninth in the 60-meter hurdle competition (9.32 meters), 11th in high jump (1.43 meters), sixth in shot put (10.72 meters), 10th in long jump (4.93 meters) and seventh in the 1000-meter race (2:29.90).
Later, WVU saw Vanderheyden place fifth in the Women’s 1000-meter race, earning a time of 2:52.73. Keane made her Big 12 Championship debut finishing in eighth place in the women’s 800-meter race with a time of 2:11.87.
From there, redshirt senior Antigone Archer took 10th place in the women’s 5,000 meters. Archer finished in a time of 17:54.36.
“Mikenna, Tessa, Jo and Ceili earned their first-ever All-Big 12 Accolades,” Cleary said. “They are two freshmen and two sophomores who show tremendous promise in their specialties. Ceili brought the team to their feet with her anchor in the relay. Running with such poise will help her as she progresses with her career.”
The Mountaineers finished with 34 team points at the meet to place eighth. Texas earned a total of 154.50 points to repeat as Big 12 women’s indoor team champions.
Press Release: WVU Athletics Communications
Photo Credit: WVU Sports