Wings on her feet

With her All-American performance at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championship in March, middle-distance runner Carmen Graves '13 is making a name for herself nationally.

Graves finished third in the finals of the 800-meter event at the NCAA Div. III Indoor Track & Field Championships at Grinnell College in Iowa on March 10. It is the third time in the last four years a track athlete from Roanoke College has placed among the top-three in any indoor event at the national meet.

The two-sport star advanced to the finals as she set a facility record and had the best time in the preliminaries (2:11.77).  She earned her trip to the national meet with the seventh-fastest time in NCAA Div. III history at the Virginia Tech Challenge (Feb. 18) with a time of 2:09.87.  It was also a new personal-best in addition to a new school and ODAC-record.  At the pre-meet ceremonies, Graves was named U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) South/Southeast Region Female Track Athlete of the Year.

"When I won the award at Nationals, it was a big surprise for me," Graves said. "I didn't even know that I was nominated. It was the biggest award I've ever gotten so I was really excited."

Graves, who was named the 2012 ODAC Women's Indoor Track & Field Athlete of the Year, broke the ODAC Championship meet record in the 800M (2:20.18).  She also placed first in the 400-meters (58.78), second in the triple jump (36') and third in the long jump (17'1.25) to lead the Maroons to another Indoor T&F ODAC Championship, their fifth since 2006.  Graves helped the Maroons to a No. 6 USTFCCCA South/Southeast Regional ranking this winter.

On April 14, Graves took the nation's top time in the 800-meter race at the Sea Ray Relays, hosted by the University of Tennessee. She placed 8th overall and ran a personal best time of 2:08.5, breaking her previous set school and ODAC record of 2:30. She now sits atop the 800M ranking in NCAA Div. III by over a second and a half.