Wuenstel Qualifies for 400-Meter Finals
DELAWARE, Ohio -- Washington & Jefferson College senior Michelle Wuenstel (Pittsburgh, Pa./Keystone Oaks) sprinted to a 400-meter preliminary time of 55.59 seconds to qualify for Saturday's national championship finals on Friday, May 27 at the 2011 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships hosted by Ohio Wesleyan University.
By qualifying for the finals, if Wuenstel merely finishes the race tomorrow (2:50 pm), she will become the first women's outdoor track & field NCAA Division III All-American at W&J since Jaimee Heffner in 1998. Wuenstel would become the first woman in school history to earn All-America status in a track event (Heffner was a javelin national champion).
Wuenstel placed third in the first of three heats. Her time remained as the third-fastest mark even after the next two heats concluded, but Wuenstel is slotted seventh as the winners of each heat get preference for lane assignments.
Wartburg junior Nevada Morrison won the first heat with a time of 55.12. North Central senior Sheila Walsh (55.52) was second and the only other runner to top Wuenstel's pace which set a school record. A total of 22 athletes competed in the 400 meters Friday evening.
In addition to Wuenstel's bid for a national 400-meters championship, her teammate, junior C.J. Corcoran (Harleysville, Pa./Souderton), will compete in the javelin finals Saturday at noon.
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