North grad Caldwell qualifies for NCAA meet

A strong performance at last weekend’s West preliminaries in Lawrence, Kansas has earned former Columbus North runner Mackenzie Caldwell a berth in this year’s NCAA track and field championships.

Caldwell, now a sophomore at the University of Colorado, ran the 10,000 meters in 34 minutes, 25.58 seconds, good for eighth place. The top 12 each earned a spot in the NCAA meet, which will take place Wednesday to June 11 in Eugene, Oregon.

The finish was a massive improvement for Caldwell, who had placed 41st in the NCAA prelims as a freshman with a time of 37:08.33.

“Mackenzie was a pleasant surprise in the women’s 10K,” Colorado head coach Mark Wetmore said. “We felt she had an outside chance (to qualify), but she actually looked very controlled.”

Dominique Scott of Arkansas won the West preliminary in 34:20.35.