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September 12, 2011

Two Hokies - one current, one former - compete at World Championships

By: Jimmy Robertson

Track and field standout Marcel Lomnicky and former Olympian Queen Harrison both competed at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships held Aug. 27-Sept. 4 in Daegu, South Korea.

Lomnicky, a 2009 national champion in the hammer throw, finished 11th in his flight in the qualifying round of the event and failed to advance to the final. He recorded his best mark on his first attempt, throwing the hammer 238 feet, five inches (72.68 meters). His second throw went 234 feet, 4 inches (71.44 meters) and his final attempt went 236 feet, 9 inches (72.16 meters). He placed 21st overall in qualifying among the 35 competitors. Japan’s Koji Murofushi won the flight and had the best overall qualifying mark with a throw of 257 feet, 9 inches (78.56 meters).

Lomnicky, a three-time All-American in the hammer throw, placed second in the hammer at the World University Games held in Shenzhen, China, in early August. He finished second at the NCAA Championships this past June and claimed his third ACC title in the event, setting an ACC record in the process (248 feet, 10 inches, 75.84 meters). He now returns to Tech for his final season of indoor track and field.

Harrison, a three-time national champion while at Tech from 2006-10, placed fourth in her heat in the semifinal round of the women’s 400-meter hurdles, but failed to qualify for the final. Harrison, running in lane three of the second heat, finished in a time of 55.44 seconds.

The top two places from each of the three heats automatically qualified for the final. The remaining two spots in the final went to the next two fastest times among all three heats, but Harrison’s time was not among that group.

In 2008, Harrison qualified for the U.S. Olympic team in the 400-meter hurdles after finishing second at the U.S. Olympic Trials, and she competed in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. She was eliminated in the semifinals of that competition.

During her time at Tech, Harrison won the 60-meter hurdle title at the 2010 NCAA Indoor Championships and then became the first woman ever to win both the 100-meter and 400-meter hurdle titles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships later that year. She currently serves as a volunteer coach at Tech while training in hopes of qualifying for the 2012 Olympic team.