track

Annabelle Eastman, a member of George Mason University women’s track and field team has had an incredible season.

Eastman, a native of Melbourne, Australia, spent the 2020-2021 season breaking records in several track and field competitions. Eastman qualified to compete in the NCAA Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon this past week and gave what her coaches called a gutsy performance.

The Mason junior was the university’s sole competitor competed in the semi-finals of the steeple chase event where Eastman ran a personal best of 9 minutes, 45.22 seconds to finish seventh in her heat and earn 13th place in the event overall. The winner of the event, Brigham Young University’s Courtney Wayment, ran a time of 9:32.52 which was 13 seconds faster than Eastman’s run.

Although Eastman didn’t win the event her placement earned her Second Team All-American honors for her time.

“Annabelle’s race tonight was a fantastic cap to an absolutely tremendous year,” said head coach Andrew Gerard in a press release. “To set an 8 second personal best when it counted most is a huge credit to the focus and resiliency she’s exhibited all year.”

The NCAA Championship closes the book on one of the best seasons by an individual Mason athlete. Eastman broke three school records in the steeplechase, the 3,000 meter, and 5,000-meter events becoming Mason’s first ever national qualifier in the steeplechase and earning an at-large bin in the NCAA Cross Country Championship.

Eastman also set the steeplechase record in the A-10 tournament with a time of 9:53.07 which allowed her to qualify for her second NCAA East Preliminary Championship. Eastman ran the second fastest time in A-10 championship history to become Mason’s sixth-ever national qualifier and the first since 1996.

“It was a bittersweet ending to an unforgettable season, but I’m loving this sport more than ever,” said Eastman in the press release. “The future is bright, and I couldn’t be more excited to build from here.”

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