LITTLE ROCK –
For the first time in two years, the UALR track and field team will be represented at the NCAA West Regional this June.
Sophomore Emma Dahl, who ranks second in school history in the 3K steeplechase, will get to show off her skills to the country in Fayetteville next week. Dahl’s season-best time of 10:15.20, set at the Stanford Invitational in April, was low enough to get her the 14th seed in the regional.
Should Dahl place in the top 12 at the West Regional, she would advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championship in Eugene, Ore., from June 11-14.
Dahl is the first Trojan to make the NCAA West Regional since Demond Burns (100, 200 meters), Jason Belt (discus) and Taron Dunn (triple jump) accomplished that feat in 2012. She is the first woman to ever make the West Regional for UALR. Before the NCAA switched its regional format following the 2010 season, the last female Trojan to reach the regional round was Pepper Foster (100 meters) in 2008.
Only one female Trojan has ever reached the NCAA Championship: Dawn Williams-Sewer in 1996 and 1997. She was also an Olympian for Dominica in 1996. The last UALR athlete to reach the national championship meet was Chris Johnson in 2005.
Dahl has had an incredible 2013-14 campaign that began with cross country in the fall. She placed third at the Gerald Richey Invite in her first race of the year and won the Sun Belt Conference’s Runner of the Week honor for that finish. She was also first among UALR runners at the UALR Invitational in October. On the track, she scored points in three events for the Trojans at the Sun Belt Indoor Championship. She is second all-time in UALR history in the 3K indoors (9:49.13), second all-time in the 5K indoors (17:22.81) and fifth all-time in the 1500 outdoors (4:34.32). Her first steeplechase of the season led the country for the first three weeks of the outdoor schedule.
Dahl will race at 9:30 p.m. on May 30 in the 3K steeplechase quarterfinal against 47 other competitors. The race will be divided into three heats of 16 runners with the top three finishers in each heat automatically advancing to Oregon. The next three fastest runners overall will reach the national championship as well.