West Virginia standout redshirt freshman Ceili McCabe has punched her ticket to Saturday’s NCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championship race in arguably her best running event.

McCabe, the two-time defending Big 12 champion in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, was in Eugene, Oregon Thursday night, competing at the national meet.

She needed a top-five finish in her semifinal heat to qualify for Saturday’s national title race.

And once the race got underway, there was no doubt she would be running one more time this season.

McCabe remained near the leaders the entire way, and momentarily challenged for the lead late in the race. Running at a pace similar to what she ran at the NCAA East Regional Preliminary meet nearly two weeks ago.

The Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada native crossed the line in third place on Thursday with a time of 9:41.10. It resulted in a five-second improvement over her national meet qualifying time.

McCabe now moves on to Saturday’s title race.

Her time was not only the third-best in her heat, but the third-best time, overall, in the 3,000M steeplechase semifinals.

McCabe entered with the second-best time in the event this season, and a personal-best time of 9:32.01 that was third-best among the field of 24.

That field has now been reduced to 12, including McCabe.

The Women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase national championship race is scheduled to get underway at roughly 5:54 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 11.