INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., May 16, 2013 – Freshman Jenna Flickinger (Hummelstown, Pa./Lower Dauphin) and senior Katie Harman (Clarksville, Md./River Hill) will represent James Madison track & field at the NCAA East Region Preliminaries May 23-25 in Greensboro, N.C., at the Irwin Belk Track at Aggie Stadium.
First up for the Dukes will be Flickinger, who lines up for the 10,000-meter run Thursday, May 23, at approximately 9 p.m. Harman will lace up for the 5,000-meter run on Saturday, May 25, at 8:05 p.m. This is the first trip to the NCAA regional for Flickinger while it is Harman’s third straight appearance.
The top 12 marks in each event at the preliminary level will advance to the NCAA Championship Finals in Eugene, Ore., held June 5-8.
Flickinger earned the right to compete after her time of 34:40.33 in the 10,000-meter run at the conference championships. She took home a second-place finish and ranks fourth all-time in JMU history with the mark.
“This is a great opportunity for Jenna to continue to race against the best. She missed the indoor season and part of the outdoor season with an injury, so she is still very fresh and hungry to compete,” assistant track & field coach/head cross country coach Dave Rinker. “She can go into the race with no pressure and just go out to beat people. Jenna still has that wide eyed look a lot of freshmen have, and this will definitely help her next week.”
Harman’s top 5,000-meter time came in late March when she notched a 16:29.28 mark at the Stanford Invitational, the third-best time in Dukes history. While it will be her third appearance at the regional meet, it will be her first start in the 5,000-meter run.
“Katie actually could have run the 1,500-meter if she wanted to, but she chose the 5,000-meter and, with the way she has been running, she definitely belongs. While some sickness and minor injury problems have kept her from having the season both of us wanted, she is in a very good place right now and ready to race,” Coach Rinker acknowledges. “Physically, Katie is a talented runner with very good speed, but her best attribute by far is her mental toughness and determination. She wants this race very badly and believes she can do some good things, and I would never bet against her. .
This will be the third straight year and fourth of the last five years JMU will send representatives to the NCAA East Regional Preliminary.
“Anytime you can get people to qualify for this meet, it's great for morale and recruiting. For those currently on the team, seeing others do it brings to light that it can be done,” says Coach Rinker. “Next week, Katie and Jenna will be carrying the torch that hopefully others will follow in the future.”