When one thinks of the greatest runners in Stony Brook Track and Field History, there is one name that comes to mind: Lucy Van Dalen. The 2012 graduate won the NCAA indoor mile championship and competed in London during that year’s Olympic games.
Second on the list? Well, if it is not already Christina Melian, she is making a strong argument for that spot. After her appearance in the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 5,000 meters, the now-junior made her first appearance at the Indoor Championships, this time held at the University of Arkansas, in the same event.
She is the sixth different student-athlete to qualify for a Track and Field National Championship as an individual in either indoor or outdoor since 2008. The Staten Island-native placed No. 13 down in Fayetteville, running a time of 16:17.26. This placed her in second-team All America honors, but was not necessarily her best effort. At the John Terrier Classic, she ran a personal record of 16:00.14 on Jan. 30. If she would have repeated that, she would have climbed into the Top 10 on the leaderboard. She did beat her national ranking, entering the meet No. 15 in the country. But, the junior will be looking to improve during this spring season, and make it back to the Outdoor Championships, which this season are being held in Eugene, Oregon.
Jane Clark is a newcomer looking to follow in the Van Dalen/Melian legacy. She got off to a good start during this indoor season, claiming an America East title in the 1,000 meters. This is the second straight season a Seawolf claimed the title in that race, as then-senior Olivia Burne crossed the finish line first last time around. Clark finished her season eighth in the ECAC Championships, clocking in at 2:57.87.