O'Brien Advances to Nationals in 10K
May 25, 2018

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Clare O’Brien used an extraordinary effort to take ninth place in the 10,000m at the NCAA West Preliminary Championships Thursday night at Hornet Stadium, giving the Broncos their first qualifier for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships (June 6-9).

The sophomore ran a personal-best time of 32:39.30, making her the second-fastest Bronco in school history in the event. O’Brien led the chase pack for the first half of the race, and then went on to catch the lead pack with roughly eight laps to go. She eventually held on for the top-10 finish in just the third 10K of her career.

O’Brien will be the fifth Bronco on the women’s side to compete in the 10,000m at nationals, joining the likes of Brenna Peloquin (2016), Emma Bates (2015, ’14 and ’13), Becky Guyette (2007) and Abby Peters (2000).

Grace McConnochie also recorded a personal-best time with a 33:17.86 to take 16th, just four spots shy of qualifying to nationals. Gracie Tostenson (35:00.99) finished in 41st.

Alexis Fuller was exceptional in the first round of the women’s 1,500m. Running in the first heat, the junior maintained her race plan well in the face of a fast pace, calmly hanging near the front of the lead pack into the bell lap. She made all the right moves down the stretch and crossed the line second in her heat, making her an automatic qualifier for Saturday’s quarterfinal.

The women’s 800m saw three Broncos take to the track – Sadi Henderson, Amy Pfaff and Kristie Schoffield. Henderson got the squad off to a great start with a 2:06.19 to take second in the first heat, solidifying her spot in tomorrow’s quarterfinal.

Schoffield (2:08.82) gutted her way to the quarterfinal with an exceptional effort in the fourth heat, using a big kick in the last 200 meters to take third and advance automatically. Pfaff ran a 2:10.28 in the third heat and did not advance to the quarterfinal on place or time.

The Broncos will have athletes competing for more tickets to nationals tomorrow in the women’s 800m (Henderson and Schoffield), men’s 3,000m steeplechase (Uchikoshi) and women’s 3,000m steeplechase (Hukka, Lopez, McDonald and Ostrander). The women’s 800m will begin at 6:45 p.m. PT.

Meet Results
| 2. Sadi Henderson (Q) – 2:06.14, 24. Kristie Schoffield (Q) – 2:08.82 and 32. Amy Pfaff – 2:10.28
| 4. Alexis Fuller (Q) – 4:21.00
10,000m | 9. Clare O’Brien – 32:39.30, 16. Grace McConnochie – 33:17.86 and 41. Gracie Tostenson – 35:00.99

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