KSC at NCAA championship

Perkowski finishes nineteenth in 3,000 and 5,000 meter races

Contributed by Tyler De Rosa

Austin Smith

Equinox staff

Lauren Perkowski, a junior distance runner, has qualified for the NCAA Indoor Track meet in both the 3,000 meter and the 5,000 meter races.

This is the first time a Keene State women’s indoor runner has made the NCAA meet since 2017.

According to Perkoski, she has been running track since her freshman year of high school and running cross country since the grade seven.

Perkowski is the only member of Keene State’s indoor track team to make it to the NCAA meet this year.

Making the NCAA meet is not something to be taken lightly. Throughout the entire country, only 20 people from Division III make it in each event.

Perkowski said she did not know if she was going to make it, “I had no idea because you really don’t know until that week of.” According to Perkowski, she did not know that she made the meet until the Sunday prior.

Perkowski is ranked 15th in the 3,000 meter and 19th in the 5,000 meter races.

Perkowski is the first female indoor track and field athlete to make an appearance at the NCAA meet since Katelyn Terry in 2017. Perkowski’s best times in both the 3,000 and the 5,000 meter races came at Boston University. Fortunately for Perkowski, the NCAA meet is being held at Boston University.

Coach Tom Pickering said, “It’s been one of Lauren’s goals this year to make it to nationals.”

In addition to making the NCAA meet, Perkowski has had a strong season. She was the LEC champion at the 5,000, setting a new meet record, and was also named LEC indoor track athlete of the year.

Perkowski had personal bests of 17:19 for the 5,000 and 10:05 in the 3,000. Perkowski also helped lead Keene State to their 18th conference championship in 19 years.

After finding out she made the NCAA meet, Perkowski said, “My friend texted me, I didn’t believe it at first, I texted my coach and he confirmed it.”

The NCAA meet was held at Boston University this past weekend, the 3,000 preliminary race was at 12:30 and the 5,000 was at 7:20 on Friday.

Perkowski came in 19th place in the 3,000 meter race with a time of 10:16, 11 seconds slower than her personal best.

In the 5,000 meter race, Perkowski finished 19th and ran a time of 17:51. This was 32 seconds slower than her previous personal best. Perkowski did not have her best day at the NCAA meet, and because of not knowing if she made the meet or not, she had only four days to train for the meet.

Pickering said, “With only four days in between, Monday through Thursday, it’s basically the hay is in the barn, the training has been done, now she just needs to rest and recover.” Perkowski will also run distance for Keene State’s outdoor track team in the spring.

Austin Smith can be contacted

at asmith@kscequinox.com

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