Simpson sends three to outdoor nationals

Simpson sends three to outdoor nationals

INDIANOLA, Iowa – Simpson track and field athletes Kinsey Bak, Ben Coy and Catie Ellingson will represent the Storm at the 2012 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships this week in California.

The championships will be held Thursday, May 24-Saturday, May 26 at Claremont McKenna-Harvey Mudd-Scripps Colleges.

No stranger to the national scene, Bak travels west in search of her fifth All-America certificate. The senior from Hinton, Iowa, will take part in the high jump, going into the meet with the 10th-best effort in the nation after clearing 5-feet, 6 1/2 inches at the Kip Janvrin Open on April 27. Bak was hobbled by a hamstring injury the last two weeks of the season but is expected to compete. She placed sixth at the 2011 championships.

Making his first trip to the national meet, Coy becomes the first male athlete under seventh-year head coach Dave Cleveland to qualify for the championships. The senior from Jewell, Iowa will compete in the 400-meter dash with the No. 17 seed thanks to his 48.16 second-effort at the Iowa Conference Championships on May 12. Before this season's indoor campaign, Coy last stepped on the track as a freshman in 2009, focusing on football in 2010 and 2011.

Success on the track is in Coy's blood, as his grandfather Bob Coy qualified for the 1959 NAIA National Championships. This weekend Coy will try to become Simpson's first male All-American since 2005 when Ross Parker placed seventh in the shot put.

Rebounding from a knee injury which sidelined her for the entire 2011 outdoor season, Ellingson has looked as strong as ever in 2012. The five-time All-American senior from Indianola, Iowa goes into the championships as one of the top contenders in the 1500-meter run. Her 4:27.91 at the Mt. San Antonio College Relays on April 19 stands as the No. 4 time in Division III.

In her last trip to outdoor nationals, Ellingson finished second in the 1500 at the 2010 championships. This time around she hopes to become Simpson's first national champion since Kelli Sheda won the 400 back in 1993.

Visit ncaa.com for links to live video and live results. Click here for a complete schedule of events.

Simpson Schedule of Events (times listed are Central)
Day Event (Athlete) Time
Thursday, May 24 1500 prelims (Ellingson) 6:30 p.m.
Friday, May 25 High Jump finals (Bak) 4:15 p.m.
Friday, May 25 400 prelims (Coy) 8:10 p.m.
Saturday, May 26 1500 finals (Ellingson) 4:50 p.m.
Saturday, May 26 400 finals (Coy) 5:50 p.m.
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