Voronko and Gallein Shatter EMU Steeplechase Record to Qualify for NCAA Championships

Voronko and Gallein Shatter EMU Steeplechase Record to Qualify for NCAA Championships

Provided by EMU

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (EMUEagles.com)--Eastern Michigan University's women's track and field team saw a historic performance in the 3000m steeplechase on the second day of the NCAA East Regional, May 28, as a pair of Eagles qualified to the NCAA Championships.

The duo of Victoria Voronko (Stavropol, Russia-School #42) and Sofie Gallein (Gits, Belgium-University of Leuven) both punched their tickets to the national championship in the 3000m steeplechase, finishing fourth and fifth in the event, respectively. The field was an extremely fast one this year, as 11 of the 12 qualifiers ran under the 10-minute barrier. The two athletes ran 12 seconds faster than Voronko's previous EMU record to secure their spots on the national stage, with Voronko smashing her own record in 9:51.63 to win the second heat. Gallein was not far off her teammate's mark, finishing runner-up behind defending national champion Leah O'Connor of Michigan State in 9:52.66 in the second heat. Additionally, the times mark not only the first time that an Eagle has run a sub-10-minute steeplechase, but it is the first time that two Eagles have accomplished the feat in the same meet.

The Eagles will look to qualify more athletes to the national championships on the final day of the NCAA East Regional tomorrow, May 30. The hammer throw will start things off at noon, followed by the triple jump at 4 p.m., the high jump at 6 p.m., and the 5000m run at 8:45 p.m. Live results will be provided through ncaa.com.

EMU Individual Results (* signifies a personal record, # is an EMU record, Q indicates an NCAA Championships qualifying mark)

3000m Steeplechase

4. Voronko, Victoria 9:51.63*#Q

5. Gallein, Sofie 9:52.66*Q