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Women's Outdoor Track & Field - Fri, May 26, 2017

The Fighting Bee women kicked off the 2017 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships as good as could be expected. 

Molly Jo Smith started the day off by qualifying for finals in the 400m hurdles for the third year in a row. The senior raced to a finishing time of 61.73, which ranks her seventh, although the top time from prelims was just 60.71.

Smith then anchored the 4x800 relay with fellow seniors Nicole Woodall and Sarah Lampe. Also on the relay was sophomore Ashley Plumb. The Bees and Smith broke the school record by running 9:12.21, eclipsing their NAIA prelim time from last year when the Bees finished one spot shy of making finals. 

In Thursday's prelim, the Bees were in third with 200m to go before Smith turned it on, and made a pass with 50m to go lading the Bees to a runner-up finish in the heat and an automatic qualifier into the finals. 

The same group raced (along with Sarah Adams) to an 8th-place finish at the indoor national championships.

Also competing for the Bees on Thursday were freshman Lauren Lamourt and senior Sam Roth. Lamourt finished where she was ranked coming in, and was the 10th best freshman in the compeition, while Roth finished in  in 42nd place.

The Bees will continue competing on Friday as Smith and Woodall have prelims in the 400 and 800 meters respectively as well as combining in the 4x800 final. The race walkers will also take the track for their final and Brandi Hosford will be on the runway for the triple jump final.