West Virginia's Cassandra Williamson advance to 800-meter run NCAA quarterfinal


West Virginia redshirt junior Cassandra Williamson is headed to the national quarterfinals in the 800-meter run, automatically advancing via a top-three finish in her first-round heat Thursday evening at the NCAA Track and Field East Regional.

With six first-round heats, the top three finishers in each race guaranteed their slot in the quarterfinals, with the next six fastest times joining them. While Williamson’s time was good enough to advance without a top finish in her heat, she left nothing to chance. 

She ran just 0.38 seconds short of her school-record best, posting a mark of 2 minutes, 4.25 seconds to cross the finish line in third-place in her heat and 11th overall amongst the 48-person field. She also managed the top second-lap split in her heat, completing the final circuit of the track in 1 minute, 3.08 seconds.

Williamson will compete next on Saturday, May 25th in the quarterfinal round -- the 24 competitors will be divided amongst three heats, with the top three finishers in each race and the next three fastest individuals advancing to the NCAA Championship meet. Saturday’s 800-meter quarterfinal will take place at the University of Kentucky with the start time for the event set at 7:05 pm Eastern Standard Time -- fans can follow the action on ESPN+.