By Kelly Tuckwiller for MSNsportsNET.com
March 9, 2010
MORGANTOWN, W.Va.– West Virginia University track and field star Chelsea Carrier has been named the Mid-Atlantic Region Field Athlete of the Year announced today by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
“Chelsea Carrier is one of the greatest athletes to ever wear the Gold and Blue,” coach Sean Cleary says. “I have been involved with WVU athletics since 1991 and I have not been in contact with an athlete that has a greater level of mental toughness. Day-in and day-out Chelsea has demonstrated that she can bring her very best each and every time that she performs. BIG EAST champion, Eastern champion and multiple times a national qualifier – it is now time for Chelsea to return to WVU with All-America status.”
Carrier is set to represent the Mountaineers this weekend at the NCAA Indoor Championships in the pentathlon and in the 60-meter hurdles. She is currently ranked No. 5 on the national top performance list for the season in the pentathlon after she posted a school record and NCAA automatic qualifying performance at the Sykes-Sabock Challenge on Feb. 5.
The Buckhannon, W.Va., native won the event with 4,136 points to break the school record previously set by All-American Pat Itanyi in 1997 (4,111). Carrier finished first in the 60-meter hurdles (8.45), the high jump (1.71 meters), the long jump (5.92 meters), the shot put (10.99 meters) and the 800-meter run (2:20.09).
At the BIG EAST Championships, Carrier continued her success as she finished first in the pentathlon with 3,994 points, after placing first in the 60-meter hurdles (8:48) and the long jump (5.92 meters), third in the high jump (1.68 meters), fourth in the 800-meter run (2:25.61) and ninth in the shot put (10.61 meters).
A day later, she returned to place first in the 60-meter hurdles with an NCAA provisional time of 8.31, while also scored points for the team in the long jump with a seventh-place showing (5.83) to help the Mountaineers to a fourth-place finish.
“At the BIG EAST Championships, we really asked a great deal of Chelsea. Winning the Multi, and then coming back a short time later to score in the long jump was very tough to pull off,” Cleary says. “The next morning, with great fatigue, she came out and won the hurdles. It was a monster effort by a great champion.”
Carrier is also 19th on the season’s national top performers list in the 60-meter hurdles after posting a career best of 8.27 at the Columbia Last Chance Meet this past weekend.