Stonehill College senior Chelsea Bishop of Suffield, capped her collegiate career with a school-record performance in the women’s 10,000-meter run to conclude day one of the 2014 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships, hosted by Grand Valley State University and the West Michigan Sports Commission, at GCSU Track & Field complex Thursday night.
Bishop, who entered the NCAA Championships seeded 20th out of 21 entries for the women’s 10,000-meters, improved on that seeding with her 12th place finish in a school-record 35-minutes, 57.85-seconds. She was seeking her second All-America award for her senior year after posting an All-America finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in Spokane, Washington, in November. Adams State (Colo.) University junior Lauren Martin won the event in 35:25.33, followed by senior Jess Watychowicz from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside (35:26.44) and junior Jessica Janecke from host Grand Valley State (35:29.58). The top eight finishers collect All-America status for the event.
Bishop, making the first NCAA Track & Field Championships appearance in her career, was in the lead pack for much of the race, using a couple of moves along the outside over the opening laps to move from the back towards the middle of the pack. She settled towards the back of the large pack before making another move at the 15-minute mark to get back in the middle. The field remained packed together past the 20-minute mark with Bishop sitting in 15th place as the race reached the 27-minute mark. The lead pack started to thin out a half hour into the race, with Bishop just behind in 11th. Martin made her move over the final three laps when the field finally strung itself out down the stretch.
Bishop broke her own previous 10,000-meter school-record of 35:58.17 set with her winning performance at the Northeast-10 Conference Championships at W.B. Mason Stadium three weeks ago. She also holds the women’s 5000-meter record of 17:14.23 set at the New England Championships two weeks ago.