LITTLE ROCK – A season’s worth of long-distance running could come down to Friday night for UALR sophomore Emma Dahl.
Dahl will be competing at the NCAA West Regional in the 3K steeplechase with a berth in the NCAA Outdoor Championship on the line. Dahl’s race will begin in the late evening hours, scheduled for 9:30 p.m. at the University of Arkansas’ John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville.
Dahl will be running in the night’s third and final heat alongside 15 runners from across the west. Among them will be Baylor’s Rachel Johnson, whose 9:49.31 at the Stanford Invitational is the fourth-best time in the country this year. Dahl has the fifth-fastest seed time in her heat.
Live results will be available for the meet as will live video.
The sophomore is the first UALR female qualifier ever for the NCAA West Regional and the first qualifier for the school since three men reached this event in 2012. If she can finish in the top three in her heat or with one of the next three fastest times among all heats, she would advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championship in Eugene, Ore., from June 11-14.
No UALR woman has reached the NCAA Outdoor Championship since Dawn Williams-Sewer in 1997.
Dahl was on a path to the NCAAs from the first weeks of her athletic year. During the cross country campaign, she finished third at the Gerald Richey Invite 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.