Kelsey O'Connell
Kelsey O'Connell
Year: Senior
Hometown: San Diego, CA
High School: Torrey Pines HS
Position: Distance

O'Connell had an impressive debut season for Gauchos, racing to a seventh place finish at the Big West Championships in the 3,000m Steeplechase. She lowered one position at the Big West meet to sixth in the 3,000m Steeple as sophomore. 

2016 Cross Country

Missing out some early season races to injury, O'Connell came back strong with a solid performance at the Stanford Invitational, finishing #2 for the team in 27th place in 21:41 for 6k. Lowered her 6k personal best at the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational a few weeks later by running 21:01.7 for 13th place. Finished #2 for the team once again at the Big West Conference Championships, running 22:34.40 for 15th place. Concluded the season with a 121st place finish at the NCAA West Regional, helping the lady Gauchos to a top-15 team finish in 14th place. 

 

2015-2016 Track

Ran seven meets for her junior track campaign. Ran a solid early season 3000m at the Aztec Invite in 10:12.16, bettering her previous mark by 10 seconds from the week before. Transferred this success into her signature event, the 3000m Steeplechase, when she finally broke the 11 minute barrier at the Big West Challenge running 10:59.00. Improved again at the Cal Poly/UCSB dual with a win in 10:56.21. Finished the season with a 5th place finish in the 3000m Steeplechase at the Big West Championships, her highest ever.

2015 Cross Country

Competed in six meets for the Gauchos. Set a 6K PB of 21:09.6 at the Big West Championships, where she finished 13th overall and #3 for the team, solidifying a surprise runner up team finish. Moved up to #2 for the team at her 2nd NCAA West regional, finishing 102nd in 22:19. 

2014-2015 Outdoor Track
Competed in ten races for the Gauchos during her sophomore campaign. Opened the year with a 5:16.14 mile at the Round-Up. Ran a then-PR at the All-UC in the 3k Steeple, finishing in 11:08.13.  Stepped up to the 5,000m at the San Francisco State Distance Carnival, finishing in 17:47.12. Came back the next week and delivered a gem performance at the Big West Challenge Cup, winning the 3k steeple in a new lifetime best, 11:05.44. Doubled at the Big West meet, placing sixth in the 3,000m Steeple and 10th in the 5,000m. 

2014 Cross Country
Ran in four races for the Gauchos.  Opened the year with a 23:20.5 performance over 6,000m at the Stanford Invitational, running No. 6. Ran a solid 21:45.1 6k at Santa Clara, placing 60th overall. Ran into the scoring line-up at the Big West Championships, placing 27th with a time of  21:57.7, taking the No. 5 scoring spot. Placed 155th overall at the NCAA West Regional with a 22:55.5 clip, again taking the No. 5 slot. 

2013-2014 Outdoor Track
O'Connell had a key third place showing in the 3,000m at the UCR Dual, running a PR 10:41.75. She opened in the 3,000m steeplechase at the Big West Challenge, finishing fourth overall. In her first Big West Track Championships she placed seventh overall in the 3,000m Steeplechase with a season best time of 11:16.10.  

2013 Cross Country
Ran in four meets as a freshman for the Gauchos. Finished 37th overall at the Big West Championships with a time of 24:12.17. Set a personal best in the 6,000m at Santa Clara, running 21:57.0. 

Prep
Competed in Cross Country and Track and Field for the Torrey Pines High School Falcons. High School coach was Brent Thorne. Steadily improved each year of high school winning rookie of the year as  afreshman in 2009, Most Improved in 2010, Most Dedicated in 2011 and Cardinal and Gold MVP in 2012. Won Most Outstanding Track and Field award in 2013, her senior year. Qualified for the State Championships in the 3200m after finishing 3rd in the San Diego CIF Section Finals. Set her personal best in the 1600m at the Palomar League Finals at 5:01.07. Set her personal best at the Escondido Invitational at 10:44.24.


Personal
Parents are Randy and Sue...Majoring in Economics with a minor in Accounting...Enjoys country music...when she's not running she enjoys the surfing and swimming out at the beach...Favorite aspect of collegiate track and field is the team bonding.

Collegiate Bests
3,000m Steeplechase- 10:56.21 (2016 UCSB/Cal Poly Dual) 

Big West Championships

2016- 3,000m Steeplechase, 5th, 11:12.10

2016- 5,00m, 18th, 18:20.19

2015- 3,000m Steeplechase, 6th, 11:29.86
2015- 5,000m, 10th, 18:22.60

2014- 3,000m Steeplechase, 7th, 11:16.10

Big West Cross Country 

2016- 6k, 15th, 22:34.4

2015- 6k, 13th, 21:09.6

2014- 6k, 27th, 21:57.7

2013- 6k, 37th, 24:12.2