ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Junior sprinter Natalie Pearson became the first UNC Asheville track and field athlete to ever qualify for the nationals as she ran a school-record 23.47 in the 200 meters in the East Regional finals Saturday night at Irwin Belk Track and Field Stadium.
Pearson advances to the NCAA Championships to be held at Eugene, Oregon from June 9-12.
"It really hasn't sunk it yet," commented Pearson. "Oregon is such a long way away. It's hard to believe I'm going to be there. I am super excited. I thought I ran a good race and I'm just on a cloud right now."
Pearson finished 11th overall in the finals and finished fifth in her heat.
"Natalie ran a great race, as close to perfect as you can be," stated Norman. "We are so proud of her. She's worked so hard and had so much dedication."