- Long distance runner Yonas Mebrahtu
and sprinter Marriah Willis
have qualified for the 2012 NAIA Indoor Meet this weekend in Geneva, Ohio at the Spire Institute
Mebrahtu comes into the run seeded 14th out of 15 runners in the 3000 meter but that doesn't concern head coach Daniel Alvarado
"We only ran Yonas
in one meet this year to let him prepare for success in the 3k," said Alvarado about the impending competition. "Yonas has held back a little this year to stay fresh. We wanted to give him the opportunity to focus on the ultimate goal this indoor season so he is best prepared for nationals.
"He has the ability to run a much faster time and I think finishing 3rd or 4th is very possible," continued Alvarado. "If he does that, he'll leave this weekend with an all-american medal around his neck." Mebrahtu
ran his qualifying time of 8:45.42 at this years Iowa State Classic in early February. The national qualifying time is anything under 8:46 - a time Mebrahtu only bested by .58 in his lone run. He is slated to compete in the 3000 meter final Saturday at 2:20 pm.
On the women's side, senior Marriah Willis
will be running in the 600 meter. Like Mebrahtu, Willis enters this weekends national meet seeded 14th. Coach Alvarado
has seen the improvement that Marriah has gained throughout the course of the season, culminating in her qualifying time of 1:38.60 at HAAC indoors.
"She has participated in every indoor meet we've ran in this year and set personal bests every time," remarked Alvarado. "I think Marriah
has a good shot at qualifying for finals and her times really aren't that far off of all-american marks."
Marriah is slated to participate in the 600 meter on Friday at 3:25 pm. You can follow all of the weekends events through the NAIA "Live Results" link by clicking here
. You can also follow Yonas and Marriah through @GUjackets
twitter feed and hashtag #jacketindoornationals.
The Graceland sports information department will be on hand this weekend to provide fans with pictures, updated results and summaries of all the weekends festivities.
Stay tuned to GUjackets.com for continuing coverage of Yonas and Marriah as compete for national championships at the NAIA Indoor meet.