YORK, PA - York College senior track & field athlete Ben Edwards learned Sunday that he has qualified for the 2011 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships hosted by Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio starting on Thursday, May 26.
Edwards qualified for the championships in the 400-meter hurdles as he posted the 17th best time in the nation at 53.34 seconds. That time came at the Paul Kaiser Classic in Shippensburg on April 30. That time not only earned Edwards a spot in the championships but it also broke a school record that he already held.
Edwards, who led the Spartans to their first Capital Athletic Conference championship in 19 years in mid-April, is the first Spartan to qualify for the national championship meet since former hammer thrower Tim Johnson earned a berth at the 2002 championships in St. Paul's, Minnesota.
The Spartan senior has had a banner 2011 campaign. He earned the Daniel J. Klinedinst Award signifying the most outstanding York College senior male athlete. He won the conference championship in the 110 hurdles, the 400 hurdles and was a member of the victorious 4x400 relay squad. Edwards was a three-time Capital Athletic Conference Men's Track & Field Athlete of the Week and a two-time Spartan Athlete of the Week.
"I am very proud of Ben and the season he has put together," said Spartan head coach and Capital Athletic Conference Coach-of-the-Year Erick Camodeca. "He has been a leader on this squad since the moment he walked onto campus. I am very excited for Ben to get the opportunity to compete against the best athletes in Division III. I know he will give his best effort and represent York in tremendous fashion. "
Edwards' performance in the CAC championships was outstanding. He won the 110-meter hurdles with at time of 16.60, winning by over 0.46 seconds. Edwards then captured the 400-meter title with a time of 56.11 as he won the event by over two seconds.
Edwards' appearance at the championships is important to the Spartan program according to Camodeca.
"To get a student-athlete the opportunity to compete at nationals shows the direction this program is heading. I want to continue to recruit student-athletes who have the ability to make it to the national championships. I want the trip to nationals to be something we look forward to each and every year," states the Spartan mentor.
Edwards is the only Capital Athletic Conference male track & field athlete to earn a berth in the championships in 2011.