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Jelen, Watson Capture BSC Weekly Awards
Jelen (Sioux Falls, S.D.) was honored after running a career-best time of 9:03.69 to win the 3,000-meter steeplechase crown at the Duke Twilight Meet on Sunday. His effort made him the third Liberty runner to qualify for the NCAA East Regional Championships in the steeplechase this season, joining Evans Kigen (So., Eldoret, Kenya) and Jordan McDougal (R-Jr., Peru, N.Y.). Jelen also moved up to No. 5 on Liberty's all-time steeplechase performance list.
This is the first time Jelen has been honored as Big South Track & Field Athlete of the Week. However, the junior garnered Big South Men's Cross Country Runner of the Week accolades on Sept. 19, after winning the Longwood Invitational.
Watson (Ravenna, Mich.) continued her stellar season at 800 meters, May 1 at the Liberty Twilight Qualifier. The Big South indoor and outdoor 800-meter champion, Watson nearly set a new conference record while winning the event. Her career-best 2:08.29 clocking moved the junior up to No. 2 on the all-time Liberty and Big South performance lists, trailing only Liberty assistant coach Heather (Sagan) Zealand's 2:08.00 effort from the 2002 season. Watson also improved her standing on the NCAA performance list, where she is currently ranked No. 49.
For Watson, it was her second Big South Track & Field Athlete of the Week notation of 2008. She was previously recognized on March 11, after setting a new Liberty and Big South indoor 800-meter record by running 2:08.34 at the ECAC Indoor Track & Field Championships.
Both Jelen and Watson will be back in action at the ECAC/IC4A Outdoor Track & Field Championships, slated for May 16-18 in Princeton, N.J. Jelen has qualified for the steeplechase and the 5,000 meters at the IC4A meet, while Watson is eligible for the 400, 800 and 4 x 800 relay at the ECAC contest.