Big Rapids, Mich. - Ferris State University freshman Samantha Johnson (Troy) advanced to the finals in her event at the 2011 NCAA Division II Women's Indoor Track and Field Championships after a strong preliminary showing on Friday (March 11) in Albuquerque, N.M.
Johnson finished fourth overall in qualifying for the finals of the women's mile run with a time of 5:01.91 overall in Friday's prelims. She took fourth in heat one and the time held up as the fourth-fastest overall among the nine runners who qualified for Saturday (March 12) afternoon's finals.
The national meet is being hosted by Adams State (Colo.) and held at the Convention Center in Albuquerque.
The Bulldog freshman held the nation's 12th-fastest qualifying time (4:56.25) among the 14 competitors who took part in the initial race at the national meet.
Johnson previoulsy placed fifth overall (5:01.27) in the event while reaching the national provisional qualification standard at the 2011 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Indoor Championships in University Center, Mich. She was also part of Ferris' distance medley relay that placed third overall at the league championships.
For her efforts, she was recognized as the GLIAC's Freshman of the Year Award recipient by the league's member head coaches in conjunction with the conference indoor championships.
Johnson has tallied three top-five meet performances in the mile run this winter, including winning the event at the Division II Challenge (Feb. 5) in Findlay, Ohio.
Last fall, Johnson helped the nationally-ranked FSU women's cross country team to an eighth-place overall finish at the 2010 NCAA Division II National Championships (Dec. 4) in Louisville, Ky. She came in 63rd overall (22:49.5) for FSU at the national meet.
She also earned cross country all-region accolades by placing among the region's top 15 performers with an 11th-place finish (21:50.01) as Ferris State took runner-up honors in the 2010 NCAA-II Midwest Regional Championships (Nov. 20) at Louisville.
The finals of the women's mile run are set for Saturday, March 13, at 6 p.m. (ET) in Albuquerque. The top eight finishers in tomorrow's finals early All-America accolades.