Shannon Meisberger will take her next step toward trying to win an NCAA Division I championship on Thursday in Eugene, Ore.
Meisberger, a junior at the University of Arizona, will run in the third heat of the 400-meter hurdles at the championships, held at the University of Oregon.
The former Lenox High School athlete finished second in the final of the 400 hurdes at the NCAA West Preliminaries on May 29 at Texas A&M. She ran 56.88 seconds in the final, beating all comers except Anna Cockrell of USC, who ran a 56.47. Cockrell and UCLA’s Shae Anderson finished 1-2 in the Pac-12 Championships, with Meisberger finishing third.
The 400 hurdles semifinals will take place at 8:30 p.m., EDT on Thursday. There are three heats, and the top two finishers in each heat and the next three best racers from among all the competitors will race for the NCAA crown on Saturday at 7:27 p.m., EDT.
ESPN2 will broadcast the Friday session starting at 8 p.m., EDT. The championships will be broadcast on ESPNU starting at 6 p.m., EDT.
Meisberger is running in the third of three heats, and will start from the No. 6 block. Her 56.88 time from Texas A&M is the fastest time in her heat. Brittany Humphrey of LSU has the second-fastest time from the NCAA preliminaries in 57.33, where she finished third. Humphrey ran a 56.14 to win the SEC championship.
The fastest seed time belongs to Virginia’s Andremette Knight, who won the NCAA East Preliminaries with a 400 hurdles time of 56.07. Knight is also the ACC champion.
Cockrell, whose 56.47 time at Texas A&M won the West Preliminaries, will be challenged by Knight and by Vanessa Watson of Tennessee, who ran a 56.72 in the East Preliminaries.
In the first heat, the top racers to watch are LSU’s Milan Young and Madison Langley-Walker of Oklahoma. Young ran a 56.73 in the NCAA East Preliminaries, and finished second to LSU teammate Humphrey in the SEC championship. Langley-Walker was second in the Big 12 Championship and finished third behind Cockrell and Meisberger in the West Preliminaries.
Meisberger is one of 12 University of Arizona competitors who are in Oregon.