INDIANOLA, Iowa – Two Simpson track and field student-athletes at contrasting stages in their careers will close the 2015 season with the same opportunity: a chance to compete for a national championship.
Senior Bayley Fleshner (100-meter hurdles) and freshman Dylan Kalinay (110-meter hurdles) will represent the Storm at the 2015 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which will be held May 21-23 at St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y.
Both athletes qualified by posting career-best times at the UW-La Crosse NCAA Qualifier on Friday, May 15. Fleshner ran the 100 hurdles in 14.35 seconds to qualify for her second NCAA Championship while Kalinay ran the 110 hurdles in 14.61 to make the field for the first time.
The women's 100 hurdle preliminaries are set to start Friday, May 22 at 5:15 p.m. The men's 110 hurdle preliminaries follows at 5:30 p.m. Each event features three heats, with the top two finishers in each heat and the next two fastest times advancing to the finals. The finals begin Saturday with the women at 1:55 p.m. and the men at 2:05 p.m.
For each men's individual event contested, including the decathlon, the top 20 declared student-athletes were accepted into the competition. For each women's individual event contested, including the heptathlon, the top 22 declared student-athletes were accepted into the competition. For each relay event contested, the top 16 declared relay teams, one per institution, were accepted into the competition.
FLESHNER CLOSES CAREER AT NATIONALS
For Fleshner, the 2015 outdoor "regular" season came to a bittersweet end with a runner-up finish at the Iowa Conference Championships. After posting the top qualifying time in preliminaries, Fleshner clipped the ninth hurdle in the finals, slowing her up just enough to come in second in front of her home crowd.
After a handful of near-misses in her first two seasons, Fleshner broke through by making outdoor nationals as a junior. Her road to qualification wasn't easy this season either, as she had to run the 100 hurdles three times at La Crosse to solidify her ticket to the NCAAs. After prelims, a timing snafu nullified the first running of the finals. Meet officials decided to run the event a third time despite just three competitors taking part in the race. Fleshner overcame the adversity to run the fastest time of her career and post the No. 11 qualifying time in Division III.
KALINAY COMPETES AT NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP IN ROOKIE SEASON
Kalinay's first season at Simpson fittingly comes to an end on Division III's biggest stage.
The freshman sensation has been turning heads all season, establishing himself as one of the top sprinters in the Iowa Conference. Kalinay took second in both the 110 hurdles and the 100-meter dash at the conference championships, missing out on a title in the dash by just 0.01 seconds. His 14.61 in the 100 hurdles at La Crosse is the fourth-fastest effort in school history and fastest in 24 years.