May 23, 2008
Ballinger moves on to steeplechase finals
University of Southern Indiana sophomore Mary Ballinger
(Chesterton, Indiana) did not let a three-hour delay stop her from making the finals in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase Thursday night at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
All running events Thursday were delayed three hours due to thunderstorms in the Walnut area earlier in the day.
Ballinger, who entered Thursday's prelims with the third-fastest time in the country, finished the second heat of the preliminary round with a time of 10 minutes, 46.82 seconds, less than four seconds away from a school record.
"All we were looking for tonight was for Mary to be in the top four of her heat," Head Coach Mike Hillyard
said. "Her last couple of water pits didn't go well, but she was running up front for a good portion of the race and she was able to just cruise in the last part of the race."
Ballinger finished her heat in third place and posted the fourth fastest time in the field. She will be one of 12 runners competing for a national championship in the women's steeplechase Saturday. The race is slated to begin at 7 p.m. (CDT).
USI Sports Information