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Jefferson, McDougal and Osborne Star on Penn Relays Distance Night

April 26, 2007  Philadelphia, Pa.  RSS
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Ashley Osborne eclipsed her own school 5,000-meter record and qualified for the NCAA regional meet Thursday evening.

Ashley Osborne eclipsed her own school 5,000-meter record and qualified for the NCAA regional meet Thursday evening.

Distance running took center stage on the opening night of the 113th Penn Relays, Thursday at Philadelphia's Franklin Field, and a trio of Liberty athletes raced to fast times. Carol Jefferson set new Big South and Liberty records in the 10,000-meter final, Ashley Osborne broke her own school 5,000-meter record and both ladies, along with Jordan McDougal in the men's 5,000 meters, achieved NCAA qualifying times. 

Jefferson (Jr., Schwenksville, Pa.), the final Lady Flame to compete late on a cool Thursday evening, placed an exclamation point on the day's proceedings. After hitting the halfway mark at 17:24, Jefferson covered the final 5,000 meters in 17:13 to end up in third place with a new conference and program-record time of 34:37.27. She was the second collegiate athlete to break the tape, trailing only Boston University's Marisa Ryan. The clocking also earns Jefferson provisional qualification to the NCAA national meet in the 10K. 

The previously existing conference record of 34:41.79 had been set by Coastal Carolina's Anne Marie Moutsinga in 2005. Jefferson had established the school mark exactly one week ago, running a 35:08.35 on her way to a Big South title in the race. 

McDougal (So., Peru, N.Y.) finished as the runner-up in the Penn Relays 5,000-meter final in 2006 and was near the front of the pack once again this year. The sophomore crossed the line third, running a new personal-best and NCAA regional-qualifying time of 14:00.14. He finished two and a half seconds behind event champion, Scott Wall of Oregon. 

Meanwhile, Osborne (So., Bristol, Va.) continued her breakthrough season in the women's 5,000 meters, improving upon her own school record with a time of 16:42.79. Her previous best effort was 16:53.89, which she achieved at the Duke ASICS Invitational on April 6. Osborne, who finished 16th, was one of 18 athletes in her race to come in under the regional qualifying standard. Providence's Aine Hoban paced the field with a winning time of 16:07.01. 

Rounding out the Liberty competitors Thursday evening was freshman Josh Edmonds (Cooperstown, N.Y.). He finished 25th in his section of the 5,000 meters, recording an outdoor personal-best time of 14:52.53. 

The second day of competition at the Penn Relays will begin at 9 a.m. Friday morning.