Track star Carmen Graves races to fourth place finish in national championship
Roanoke College junior Carmen Graves made NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field history in the 800-meter run last month.
She finished fourth in the NCAA Div. III championship race on May 26 in Claremont, Calif., with a time of 2 minutes, 8.45 seconds. Graves' fourth place finish earned her the title of All-American.
Her qualifying time (2:07.32) for the Div. III Women's Outdoor Track & Field National Championship was the sixth fastest time in Div. III history. Her time also was the overall fastest in Div. III for the 2012 season.
This outstanding time sent Graves to the national championship as the No. 1 seed, or the highest ranked 800-meter runner. The trip marked Graves' third and Roanoke's sixth time at the championship since 2006.
Last year, Graves placed ninth in the 800 at the NCAA Div. III Outdoor Championship, one place shy of earning the title of All-American.
Graves also left her mark at April's ODAC Outdoor Track & Field Championship. She broke the meet record for the 800 (2:20.18), placed first in the 400-meter race (58.78), second in the triple jump (36') and third in the long jump (17'1.25). She also was named Athlete of the Meet at both the ODAC Indoor and Outdoor Championships, and she was the first college athlete to cross the finish line, in fifth place, at the Duke University Twilight meet in April.
As for indoor track, Graves placed third in the 800 at the NCAA Div. III Indoor Track & Field National Championship in March. Also, she was named U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) South/Southeast Region Female Track Athlete of the Year.
Graves holds several records at Roanoke, including in the 800 and in the Indoor Distance Medley, alongside teammates Sarah Witt, Leigha Schimmoeller and Grace England. In March, she broke the 400 record at the Roanoke Invitational. She also holds the ODAC Championship record in the 4x400-meter relay, with teammates Rachel Dellehunt, Hope Flomo and Sara Witt.
Graves plays soccer at Roanoke in addition to track. She was selected for the All-ODAC first team in soccer and for the 2011 Women's Soccer VaSID All-State team. The Christiansburg native also was named ODAC Women's Soccer Player of the Week twice last year.
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