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Trio of Knights Headed to Nationals

May 21, 2012 at 10:31 am

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  |  Women

NORTHFIELD, Minn. -- Three Carleton College track athletes will head to Claremont, Calif., this week to participate in the 2012 NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships. Seniors Alison Smyth (Billings, Mont./Billings West) and Simone Childs-Walker (Seattle, Wash./Lakeside) will take part in the 10,000-meter run. Marcus Huderle (So./Eden Prairie, Minn.) will represent the men’s team in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Smyth and Childs-Walker will race in the 10,000-meter run starting at 6:20 p.m. PDT on Thursday, May 24. Later in the evening, Huderle will race in the prelims for the steeplechase at 8:30 p.m. local time. The finals in the steeplechase will be held on Saturday, May 26 at 2:10 p.m. PDT.

Smyth heads to nationals for the first time in track and field after winning both the 10,000-meter run and 5,000-meter run at this year’s MIAC Championships. Her time of 36:19.47 ranks No. 20 among national competitors in the 10K. Smyth also qualified for the 1,500-meter run, but scheduling conflicts made her choose one event. She raced at the NCAA Cross Country Championships all four years.

Right behind Smyth in both events at this year’s conference meet was Childs-Walker, who heads to nationals for the 12th time overall in her career—four each in cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track. She holds the fourth-fastest seed time in the 10K at 35:40.87. Combined with her performances in cross-country, indoor track, and outdoor track, Childs-Walker holds 11 All-American awards. She has picked up All-American honors in the 10,000-meter run three times previously, with her best finish coming in 2010 when she placed third overall.

Huderle has not lost a steeplechase race in 2012. His time of 9:11.16 at the 2012 MIAC Championships was the event’s fastest time at the conference meet over the last 15 years. A week later, he crossed the line at 9:06.87 at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse NCAA Qualifier. With that stellar time, Huderle joined an elite club as only five MIAC athletes have run a time under 9:10 in the past 15 years. He is the No. 18 seed for this year’s national meet.

Unfortunately, Huderle’s teammate Noah Laack-Veeder (Fy./Madison, Wis./LaFollette) missed making the 20-runner field for the 800-meter run by the slimmest of margins.  His time of 1:52.08 was .01 seconds behind the last qualifier, Cory Bailey from Ohio Northern University.