MAC Athletes Set For NCAA Preliminaries

Updated 5/24/2012
Courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments

NCAA East Preliminary Central Page

NCAA West Preliminary Central Page


(Akron) Qualifiers Announced for NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Preliminary Rounds
AKRON, Ohio –
The University of Akron track and field program will send 14 athletes – competing in 16 men's and women's events – to the NCAA East Preliminary, which runs from May 24-26 in Jacksonville, Fla.

Five 2012 Mid-American Conference Outdoor Championships headline the list of qualifiers for the Zips, including Shawn Light (pole vault) and Tyshaun Peoples (long jump) on the men's side and Ariane Beaumont-Courteau (pole vault), Alexis Cooks (discus) and Brittany Funk (hammer throw) from the women's team.

Cooks, the 2012 MAC Female Most Outstanding Field Performer who broke the school record in the discus (179-10) at the championship meet, will also be competing in the shot put while Nick Banke will pull double duty as well, competing in both the discus and shot put events.

Also making the trip will be Daryl Baptiste (men's long jump), Jessica Delic (women's javelin), Dan Garrett (men's pole vault), Eric Hubbard (men's hammer throw), Katherine Lee (women's pole vault), Claire Lucas (women's pole vault), J'Lani Pryce (men's 400-meter hurdles) and Joe Wesley (men's pole vault).

Of UA's 14 athletes, nine will be making return appearances to the NCAA East Preliminary. Both Banke (discus) and Lee, a USTFCCCA Second-Team All-American in 2011, were two of six Zips that qualified through to the NCAA Championships at the prelim a year ago.

Live results as well as a video stream will be provided at the meet, courtesy of the NCAA. For links, log on to the NCAA's East Preliminary page.

The NCAA recently released its full list of qualifiers, which include the top 48 athletes in each event for both the East and West regions. The top 12 finishers in each qualifying round will advance to the NCAA Championships, which will be held from June 6-9 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa.


(Ball State) Lomax Heads To NCAA East Preliminary Round
MUNCIE, Ind.  -
Ball State sophomore high jumper Rebecca Lomax (Indianapolis, Ind./Southport) has qualified to compete in the high jump at the 2012 NCAA East Preliminary Round competition hosted by the University of North Florida at Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville.

The women's high jump competition is slated to begin at 5 p.m. Friday, May 25, with the top 12 performers advancing to the NCAA Championships June 6-9 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa.

Lomax earned a berth in the NCAA East Preliminary Round when she cleared the bar at a height of 1.78m (5-10) at the Polar Bear Invitational held March 24 in Marion, Ind., which tied her career-best set last season when she captured the Mid-American Conference Championship in the event.

Lomax, who is the only student-athlete from the MAC to qualify for the preliminary competition in the high jump, last competed May 12 when she placed fourth the 2012 MAC Outdoor Championships with a leap of 1.67m (5-05.75).


(Buffalo) Bulls Place Ten Into East Regionals Field
BUFFALO, NY  –
A total of ten University at Buffalo athletes in 12 events have earned invitations to compete in the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field East Region Preliminary Round, the first step to the NCAA National Championships. The regionals are scheduled for May 24-26 at the University of North Florida's Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville.

Representing the UB women's team are throwers Kristy Woods, Rachel Roberts and Erin Miller, hurdlers Brooklynn Ventura and Anna Holmes and middle-distance specialist Asia Henry. For the UB men, four athletes, throwers Rob Golabek, Corey Knox and Jacob Sunday and hurdler Will Cole, are among those entered in the field.

Woods and Roberts are entered in the women's shot put, slated for Thursday, May 24 at 1:00 pm. Woods is seeded 28th with her top throw of 50-10.75 (15.51m) coming at the Bucknell Bison Outdoor Classic on April 15. Roberts is seeded 31st at 50-8 (15.44m) following her victory at the Penn Relays on April 26. Woods finished fourth and Roberts took sixth at the MAC Championships.

Woods will also compete in the women's hammer throw on Saturday, May 26 at 2:00 pm, along with Miller. Both throwers posted their top marks at the MAC Championships with Miller finishing fourth at 188-10 (57.56m) and Woods placing fifth at 187-6 (57.16m). Miller is seeded 24th in the regional field with Woods 26th.

Ventura will race in the women's 100-meter hurdles with first-round heats on Friday, May 25 at 5:30 pm and the quarterfinals on Saturday at 7:20 pm. Ventura is seeded 46th with her 13.71 clocking from April 29 when she won the Big Red Invitational. She ran a wind-aided 13.60 at the Cortland Classic Invitational on April 20 and placed fourth in the finals at the MAC meet last weekend.

Holmes is seeded 12th in the women's 400-meter hurdles, which will be contested on Thursday at 5:00 pm with the quarterfinal round on Friday at 7:45 pm. Holmes won the MAC title in the event after twice breaking the UB record, finishing with a 58.38 clocking in the championship race, and taking 1.40 seconds off her previous best time prior to the MAC meet.

Henry is entered in the women's 800-meters, which will have heats on Thursday at 8:35 pm and quarterfinals on Friday at 7:15 pm. Henry is seeded 34th with her 2:07.49 showing which won the 800-meters at the Bucknell meet. She placed third in the MAC Championships last week just six-hundredths of a second off her top mark.

Golabek, an All-America honoree in 2011, will compete in the men's shot put on Saturday at 5:00 pm. Golabek is seeded seventh in the field with a top throw of 63-4.75 (19.32m), set at the Bucknell meet when he finished second to Penn State's Joe Kovacs, the region's top seed. Golabek threw 61-4.75 (18.71m) at last week's MAC Championships as he won his third consecutive men's outdoor shot put title.

Knox will compete with Golabek in the shot put as well as the men's discus on Thursday at 1:00 pm. Knox is seeded 35th in the shot put after posting his top mark of 56-10.75 (17.34m) at Bucknell. He is seeded 22nd in the discus following his MAC Championships performance of 176-7 (53.82m) where he second and earned second-team All-MAC recognition.

Sunday competes on Thursday at 11:00 am in the men's javelin. He finished fourth at the Penn Relays with his season-best throw of 208-0 (63.42m) to earn the region's 42nd seed. He finished third at the MAC Championships with toss of 204-0 (62.18m).

Cole will be in the men's 400-meter hurdles on Thursday at 4:30 pm with the quarterfinal round on Friday at 7:30 pm. Cole set his top time of the season (52.29) when he finished second at the MAC Championships and earned a spot on the All-MAC Second Team. He is seeded 35th overall.

Women's head coach Vicki Mitchell commented on her team's performances as they head into the regional meet. "Six women advancing to the NCAA East Preliminary Round is proof to the level of performance that our women have achieved this season. We head to Jacksonville with excitement and high aspirations. Our coaching staff is extremely proud of the accomplishments of these six women and of the entire team this season."

"We have a possiblity of qualifying three or four to the finals of the NCAA's," said men's head coach Perry Jenkins. "On the men's side, I'm very proud of the four student-athletes that are representing the University at Buffalo at the first round of the NCAA's."

Jenkins also highlighted on Golabek's chances for advancement. "Right now Robert Golabek is in the top 10 to advance to the final. It's not a guarantee, but I see Mr. Golabek advancing to the final where he represented the University at Buffalo last year. But you never know. That's why you show up to the dance."

A total of 48 athletes are entered in each individual event. Seedings are based on their top marks for the 2012 season. Track events will consist of a first round and a quarterfinal round in which the top 24 runners from the first round will compete. For field events, after their first three attempts, the top 16 entrants will move into the second round of competition.

The top 12 finishers in each event will move on to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships, June 6-9 in Des Moines, IA. The West Region Preliminary Round will also be held May 24-26 in Austin, TX as 24 total spots in the national field will be determined from the two regional meets. The Bulls advanced three athletes, Golabek (shot put), Matt Gac (discus) and Becky O'Brien, (shot put and discus) to the 2011 National Championships also held in Des Moines.


(Central Michigan) Chippewas Set to Compete at NCAA Championship Prelims
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -
Competition at the 2012 East NCAA Track and Field Championships Preliminaries will get underway Thursday with five of the eight qualifying Central Michigan student-athletes in action, according to the brackets released by the NCAA Tuesday.

The top 12 finishers in each event will advance to the National Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, beginning June 6. The same applies to the West region, with a total of 24 student-athletes qualifying for each event.

Live video and live stats will be available throughout the weekend via the website of the University of North Florida, host of the regional meet.

Junior Alex Rose will compete in the discus Thursday beginning at 1 p.m., the first of his two events this weekend. Rose, the MAC Champion in the discus, is seeded sixth overall and will compete in the third of three flights. Following a three-throw first round, the 16 student-athletes with the best marks will advance to a three-throw final.

Rose will also compete in the shot put at 5 p.m. on Saturday. He will compete in the first of four flights.

Senior hurdler Branden Post, the Mid-American Conference champion in the 400m hurdles, will be the first Chippewa to take the track. Post is scheduled to run in the third of six heats of the 400m hurdles, the first of which begins at 4:30 p.m. 

The top three finishers in each of the six heats and the six next-fastest times – 24 total runners – will advance to the quarterfinals Friday at 7:30 p.m. Post is currently ranked 31st overall and seventh in his heat.

Freshman Milica Kulidzan, who set the school record in the javelin with a mark of 151-03 at the MAC Championships en route to a runner-up finish, is in the second flight of three in the javelin competition. The first flight is set to start at 4:30 p.m. Each competitor will take three throws, and the 16 student-athletes with the best marks will advance to the finals for three more throws.

After Post and the other men's 400m hurdlers clear the track, freshman Bridget Doughty and the women's 400m hurdlers will begin their six heats at 5 p.m. Doughty, who finished third at the MAC Championships, will compete in the second of six heats. The top three finishers in each heat and the nine next-fastest times will advance to the quarterfinals, which begin Friday at 7:45 p.m. Doughty is seeded 45th overall and eighth in her heat.

Senior Holly Anderson will conclude the first day for the Chippewas in the 10,000m run at 9:40 p.m. She is seeded 28th overall with her school-record time of 34:45.70 at the Stanford Invitational. The race will serve as the national semifinals, and the top 12 will advance to Des Moines.

Senior throwers Ryan McCullough and Kevin Mays will compete in the hammer throw Friday beginning at 10 a.m. McCullough, the MAC Champion in the hammer throw with a school-record mark of 210-07 and the Outstanding Field Performer, is seeded 10th overall and will compete in the third of three flights. Mays will compete in the second flight, and is seeded 21st after his career-best mark of 200-00 at the MAC Championships. The 16 best marks will advance to a three-throw final.

Senior multi-event student-athlete Josh Kettlewell will compete in the pole vault on Saturday at 11 a.m. Kettlewell is ranked 38th overall with his mark of 16-09.25 at the Lyle Bennett Open. He will compete in the second of two flights. The top 12 marks will advance to the National Championships.


(Eastern Michigan) Six Eagles Will Head to Jacksonville for Women's Track
YPSILANTI, Mich.  –
The Eastern Michigan University women's track and field team had six members of its squad, including a pair of true freshmen, qualify for the 2012 NCAA East Preliminary Round, as announced by the NCAA on Thursday.

Beverly Elcock, Lydia Gomez-Diaz, Asia Rawls, Angela Scarber, Victoria Voronko and Shantavia Williams each qualified in different events for the preliminary rounds.

Elcock earned her nod to the NCAA East Preliminary Round by posting a 2:07.25 in the 800-meter run at the 2012 Outdoor Mid-American Conference Championships last weekend. Elcock's finish ranked as the best by anyone in the MAC this season and also earned her first place at the Outdoor MAC Championships, placing her on the women's track and field All-MAC First Team. She is seeded 29th in the 800-meter run.

True freshman Lydia Gomez-Diaz will head to Jacksonville, Fla. after tossing an EMU record of 190-feet and 10-inches in the hammer throw at the Outdoor MAC Championships last weekend. Gomez-Diaz was named to the All-MAC second team for her efforts and is seeded 20th at the East Preliminary.

Rawls took second at the Outdoor MAC Championships last weekend in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 58.39 which qualified her as the 13th seed at the East Preliminary next weekend. Her time was the second-best by anyone in the MAC by just .01 second. Rawls was named second team All-MAC for her efforts in both the 400-meter hurdles and the 4x400-meter relay.

Scarber also earned her nod to the East Preliminary at the 2012 Outdoor MAC Championships. The senior had a hammer throw of 187-feet and six-inches which is a personal-best, and earned her sixth place at the MAC meet. She is seeded 27th for the NCAA competition.

Another true freshman that earned a spot in the East Preliminary was Voronko. Voronko qualified with a 10:33.50 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Hillsdale “Gina” Relays, April 26-28. Voronko's time was an Eastern Michigan record as she broke fellow teammate Courtney Calka's record from the 2011 season. Voronko is seeded 48th for next weekend's competition.

Williams earned a spot in the 400-meter dash at the East Preliminary. She is seeded 17th after running a 53.23 in the preliminary round of the Outdoor MAC Championships last weekend. Williams ended up placing second in the finals with a 53.78. She earned second team All-MAC accolades for her performances in the 400-meter dash and 4x400-meter relay. She also placed eighth in the 200-meter dash.

The 2012 NCAA East Preliminary Round takes place Thursday-Saturday, May 24-26, at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Fla.


(Eastern Michigan) Men's Track Will Send Four to NCAA East Preliminary Round
YPSILANTI, Mich.  –
The Eastern Michigan University men's track and field team had four members of its squad qualify for the 2012 NCAA East Preliminary Round, as announced by the NCAA on Thursday.

Terefe Ejigu, Grzegorz Kalinowski, Donald Scott and Joe Tesner each qualified in different events for the preliminary rounds.

Ejigu, the 2012 Indoor and Outdoor MAC Championships' Most Valuable Performer qualified for the 5,000-meter run as the 26th seed. He used his time from the Mt. SAC Relays to qualify as well. The Wellington, New Zeeland native completed the 5,000-meters in 14:01.76 which was also the best time by any MAC student-athlete this season. Ejigu was a first team All-MAC award winner this season.

Kalinowski qualified for the 1,500-meter run by completing the distance in 3:45.73 back at the Mt. SAC Relays, April 19-21. This time was the second-best run by anyone in the Mid-American Conference for the 2012 outdoor season and he is seeded 41st in the East Preliminary. Kalinowski was a second team All-MAC award winner this year.

Donald Scott's 51-feet and five-inches leap at the 2012 Outdoor MAC Championships in the triple jump earned him the 13th seed at the East Preliminary. Though Scott saw limited action this season, he was able to qualify after jumping in just two meets, while earning first team All-MAC honors.

Tesner qualified for the pole vault as the 48th seed. His leap of 16-feet and 7.50-inches at the 2012 Len Paddock Invitational was good enough for the senior to qualify for the East Preliminary. That leap was also good for fifth in the MAC this season.

The 2012 NCAA East Preliminary Round takes place Thursday-Saturday, May 24-26, at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Fla.


(Kent State) Twenty-Two To Compete at NCAA Track & Field Regionals
KENT, Ohio –
After a successful outdoor campaign, the Kent State outdoor track and field team will send a contingent of 22 student-athletes to the NCAA East Preliminary Round, hosted by the University of North Florida at Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla.
 
Thirteen women and nine men posted qualifying marks during the season for the Golden Flashes. The 22 individuals were among the top 48 student-athletes in their respective events in the East region.
 
Three Kent State student-athletes have qualified for two events: Shanequa Williams (200m, 400m), Joh'vonnie Mosley (shot put, discus) and Matthias Tayala (discus, hammer throw).
 
The top 12 individuals from both the East and West Preliminary Rounds in each of 20 events will advance to the 2012 NCAA Championships June 6-9 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa.


(Miami) Quintet of Miami Women Compete for Spot in NCAA Championships
OXFORD, Ohio –
Aiming to earn a berth in the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, five members of the Miami University women’s track and field team head south to Jacksonville, Fla. this Thursday to Saturday to compete in the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds. The five RedHawks who earned a spot in the East Prelims are seniors Rachael Clay, Kelley Miller and Alexandra Roberts, junior Layne Baggett and sophomore Tori Paterra. The five qualifiers match Miami’s number of participants from each of the last two years in the East Prelims.

The NCAA East Preliminary Rounds, which serve as the first and second rounds of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, are held at the University of North Florida’s Hodges Stadium. A total of 48 athletes are entered in each event at both the East and West Prelims with the fields being determined based on the top times and marks earned throughout the outdoor season. The top 12 finishers in each event at both prelims advance to the NCAA Championships. The West Prelims are being held in Austin, Texas and are hosted by the University of Texas this weekend, as well.

The highest-seeded RedHawk is Paterra (Elizabeth, Pa.), who is ranked 10th in the region in the javelin after earning Honorable Mention All-America in the javelin as a freshman last year when she made the NCAA Championships. She qualified with her throw of 48.46m/159-0 from the All-Ohio Championships April 20, when she finished second. Her throw is the fifth-best in school history, all of which she owns. Paterra is one of five athletes from the Mid-American Conference to qualify in the javelin, which is held Thursday, May 24 at 4:30 p.m., while the top 16 move on to a three-attempt final immediately after in hopes of making the top 12.

For the second straight year, Roberts (Hilliard, Ohio) competes in two events, as she’s seeded 23rd in the shot put and earned the 48th and final spot in the discus. This is her third straight year throwing in the shot put at the East Prelims. She qualified in the shot put with a school-record throw of 15.69m/51-5.75 on March 24 at the Vanderbilt Black & Gold Invitational and in the discus with a toss of 47.64m/156-3 on April 21 at the All-Ohio Championships. Her throw in the discus is the eighth-best throw in school history. She is one of six MAC athletes in the shot put and one of five in the discus. Roberts throws the shot put first on Thursday, May 24 at 1 p.m. while the discus takes place Friday, May 25 at 3 p.m. Like with the javelin, the top 16 in each event advance to a three-attempt final immediately after the first round, looking to finish in the top 12.

Running in the 100m hurdles is Baggett (Pittsburgh, Pa.), who is seeded 32nd in the East Region after clocking 13.56, which jumped her to second in school history. She posted her time May 12 at the MAC Championships when she won the MAC title in the 100m hurdles. Baggett is one of just two 100m hurdlers from the MAC that will run in the first round on Friday, May 25 at 5:30 p.m. The top three finishers in each of the six heats plus the next nine best times regardless of heat advance to the quarterfinals, which are Saturday, May 26 at 7:20 p.m. Baggett runs in heat one on Friday.

Miller (Dublin, Ohio) runs in the 1500m, also doing so at the 2010 East Prelims, as she’s seeded 42nd in the event. She clinched a berth with her school-record time of 4:23.64, which she clocked April 28 at the Drake Relays, placing seventh in the race. She is the only MAC runner in the field of 48, after winning the MAC 1500m title May 12 for the second time in her career. Miller will run in the first round Thursday, May 24 at 6 p.m. and would run again Saturday, May 26 at 6:45 p.m. should she qualify for the quarterfinals. To move on to the quarterfinals, Miller must finish in the top five in her heat or have one of the next four best times after the top five in each heat.

Rounding out Miami’s participants at the East Prelims is Clay (Rossford, Ohio), who is entered in the 400m dash, ranking 47th with a time of 53.97, which is the second-best mark in school history. She clocked her time May 11 during the prelims of the 400m dash at the MAC Championships, where she finished fifth. Clay is among four MAC athletes to qualify in the event and will run in the first round Thursday, May 24 at 7:45 p.m. Should she finish in the top three in her heat or have one of the next nine best times after the top three in each heat, she would run again Friday, May 25 at 6:15 p.m. in the quarterfinals.

Live results for the prelims will be available on MURedHawks.com. The final field of 24 for each event (top 12 from both prelims) will meet in Des Moines, Iowa June 6-9 for the NCAA Championships, hosted by Drake University.


(Miami) Five RedHawk Men Take Aim at NCAA Championships
OXFORD, Ohio -
Looking to secure a berth in the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, five members of the Miami University men's track and field team head south to Jacksonville, Fla. this Thursday to Saturday to compete in the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds. The five RedHawks who earned a trip to the East Prelims are seniors Jordan Goffena, Nathan Hoch and Adam Ruiz and sophomores Jahquil Hargrove and Rob Stein. The five qualifiers are Miami's most since putting six in the regional in 2008.

The NCAA East Preliminary Rounds, which serve as the first and second rounds of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, are held at the University of North Florida's Hodges Stadium. A total of 48 athletes are entered in each event at both the East and West Prelims with the fields being determined based on the top times and marks earned throughout the outdoor season. The top 12 finishers in each event at both prelims advance to the NCAA Championships. The West Prelims are being held in Austin, Texas and are hosted by the University of Texas this weekend, as well.

The highest-seeded RedHawk in any event is Hargrove (Norristown, Pa.), as he qualified 25th in the 400m dash. He did so with a school-record time of 46.62, which he ran May 12 at the MAC Championships, earning him the 400m MAC crown. He broke a school record that had stood since 1988. Hargrove is one of just two Mid-American Conference athletes entered in the 400m and has the top MAC time. He will run in the first round on Thursday, May 24 at 7:20 p.m. and needs to finish in the top three in his heat or have one of the next nine fastest times after the top three in each heat to advance to the quarterfinals, which are run Friday, May 25 at 6 p.m.

The RedHawks have two competitors in the discus as Hoch (Logan, Ohio) is seeded 34th in the region while Stein (Villa Park, Ill.) is 46th. Hoch clinched a spot with a heave of 52.94m/173-8, which he recorded May 12 at the MAC Championships to place fifth. His mark also ranks seventh in school history. Stein just made the cut with a throw of 51.99m/170-7, which he logged April 13 at the Jesse Owens Classic. His mark ranks 10th all-time at Miami. A total of six MAC athletes qualified in the discus, which will be held Thursday, May 24 at 1 p.m. with the top 16 moving on to a three-attempt final in hopes of making the top 12. Both Hoch and Stein qualified for the East Prelims in the discus last year, as well, and are the first RedHawks to compete at the East Prelims this year.

Goffena (Sidney, Ohio) is one of two RedHawks who nabbed the 48th and final qualifying spot. He did so in the 110m hurdles and was actually a late edition to the field as he was not listed on the original qualifying list announced last Thursday, but was added Monday after the 47th seed was scratched, moving Goffena up from 49th to 48th. He earned the spot with his time of 14.23, which he clocked March 24 at the Vanderbilt Black & Gold Invitational and ranks him third in school history in the event. Goffena is the only representative from the MAC in the field and runs in the first round Friday, May 25 at 5 p.m. Should he advance to the quarterfinals by finishing in the top three in his heat or posting one of the next nine fastest times after the top three in each heat, he would run again Saturday, May 26 at 7:05 p.m.

The other 48th seed is Ruiz (Mascoutah, Ill.) in the hammer throw. He qualified with a heave of 57.98m/190-3, which ranks fifth in school history and was recorded in front of the home fans at the RedHawk Invitational April 28. He is one of six MAC athletes in the hammer throw while he also competed in last year's NCAA East Prelims in the shot put. The hammer throw is set for Friday, May 25 at 10 a.m. with the top 16 moving on to a three-attempt final where the top 12 will emerge.

Live results for the prelims will be available on MURedHawks.com. The final field of 24 for each event (top 12 from both prelims) will meet in Des Moines, Iowa June 6-9 for the NCAA Championships, hosted by Drake University.


(Northern Illinois) Northern Illinois Heads to Texas for NCAA West Preliminary Round
DeKALB, Ill. –
The Northern Illinois track & field team opens up NCAA competition this week with the NCAA West Preliminary Round in Austin, Texas.
 
The meet runs from Thursday, May 24 through Saturday, May 26 at Texas’ Mike Myers Stadium. The Huskies will be represented with a program-high four entries in the meet, as Janay Mitchell competes in the 100 meters and 200 meters, Roneisha Frye runs in the 100 hurdles and the quartet of Chanel Kellyman, Mitchell, Frye and Rasheta Butler take part in the 4x100 relay.
 
“Heading to the first round of the NCAAs is a great accomplishment for the athletes qualifying,” said Huskie head coach Connie Teaberry. “If they continue to compete with confidence, executing every phase, they will have huge performances. We are proud to have the opportunity to compete at the NCAA Preliminary Round, but we are ready to accomplish more.”
 
Mitchell will start the meet off for NIU Thursday night at 6:55 p.m. with the 100 meters prelims. On Friday, Frye runs at 5:30 p.m. in the 100 hurdles prelims, while Mitchell will have the 100 meters final at 6:45 p.m. (contingent on Thursday’s result) and the 200 meters prelims at 8:25 p.m.
 
Things wrap up Saturday when the 4x100 relay team of Chanel Kellyman, Mitchell, Frye and Rasheta Butler hit the track at 6:15 p.m., while the 100 hurdles and 200 meters final take place at 7:20 p.m. and 7:50 p.m., respectively.
 
NIU will be looking to build off their strong performance at the Mid-American Conference Championships, where they scored a program-best 53.33 points to finish in eighth place. Individually, Mitchell and the 4x100 relay took first team All-MAC honors with first place finishes in Mt. Pleasant, while Frye earned second team All-MAC recognition in the 100 hurdles.
 
This year marks the third-straight season and the seventh time in the last nine in which NIU has sent at least one athlete to the NCAA Preliminary Rounds. In addition, the four entries in this year’s prelim meet is the most the program has ever qualified since being reinstated in 2000. The previous high was three, which occurred in 2006 and 2007.
 
Northern will also be looking to get at least one Huskie to the NCAA Championship for the first time since 2007, when Ashley Morrow made it in the shot put. In order for that to happen, Mitchell, Frye or the 4x100 relay team must finish among the top 12 in their respective events.


(Ohio) Pifer Representing Ohio at NCAA Regionals
ATHENS, Ohio-
Ohio Track and Field student-athlete Emily Pifer is poised to compete at the NCAA Regionals tomorrow in Jacksonville, Florida. The sophomore will race in the 10,000 meter event at approximately 9:40 p.m.

Pifer (Canal Winchester, Ohio) qualified for the 10,000m after finishing fourth at the MAC Championships. She recorded Ohio's top time of the season (34:55.53). Pifer also finished eighth in the 5,000m at the MAC Championships and had Ohio's top time of the season in that event (17:08.63). She also had Ohio's second-best time in the 1500m event this season at 4:44.81 in the Ohio Open

Pifer finished the outdoor season with seven top-10 finishes among the nine events she participated in, including five top-five finishes. She closed the spring with PR's in the 1500m, 5000m and 10000m events this season.

As the East region is competing on and around the University of North Florida's Hodges Stadium, the West region will be participating in an identical competition in Austin, Texas. The top performers at both regionals will then travel to Des Moines, Iowa for the NCAA Championships on June 6-9.


(Toledo) Four UT Track Athletes to Compete in NCAA Qualifying Round
Toledo, OH -
In a continuation of the success the University of Toledo women's track program has enjoyed during the 2011-12 campaign, the team will send four student-athletes to compete in the first round of the NCAA Championships from May 24-26 in Jacksonville, FL.

Distance runners Emma Kertesz, Ari Fisher and Megan Vogelsong, as well as long jumper Katie Bollin, are the Rockets who earned qualifying marks at various regular-season meets. The group of four represents the largest group that Toledo has taken to the first round since the qualifying format changed in 2003.

The three runners all qualified in the 10,000-meters event. Kertesz and Vogelsong both hit their marks at the Stanford Invitational on April 6. In that race, Kertesz placed 25th in a time of 33:28.58, a time that made her the new Mid-American Conference all-time record-holder in the event. The time also qualified her for this summer's Olympic Trials in Eugene, OR. Vogelsong's finishing time of 34:15.00 was also one of the best in MAC history, ranking as the sixth-fastest time recorded in conference history.

Fisher clinched her spot with a first-place finish in the 10,000 meters at the prestigious Penn Relays on April 27. With a finishing time of 34:41.55, Fisher became just the third woman in MAC history to win a championship at the Penn Relays.

Bollin added her name to the NCAA qualifier list after she recorded a first-place finish in the long jump at the Toledo Invitational on May 3, jumping a distance of 6.05 meters (19-10.25). The mark was the best produced out of all MAC women for the entire season.

"We're very excited about our four women who have the opportunity to compete in the qualifying round of the NCAA Championships," said head coach Kevin Hadsell. "Particularly in the 10,000-meters, I believe that all three girls have a chance to make it to the NCAA finals in Boise in a couple weeks."

The Rockets are continuing their exciting season, fresh off a runner-up finish at the outdoor conference championships, in which they were narrowly edged by Kent State, 134.3-132. The point total and second-place finish are UT program-highs. The Midnight Blue and Gold also placed second at the indoor championships.

The NCAA track and field championships will take place at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, IA, from June 6-9.


(Western Michigan) NCAA East Preliminaries Awaits WMU Track & Field
KALAMAZOO -
Western Michigan will be represented in eight events at the NCAA East Preliminary Championships at the University of North Florida beginning Thursday.

The Broncos will have student-athletes competing in the 400 meter dash, 400 meter hurdles, 800 meter run, 10k, 4x400 meter relay, triple jump, shot put and discus. To qualify, individuals must have finished ranked in the top 48 of the East Regional, while relay teams must have finished in the top 24. The top 12 from each event move on the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Drake University beginning June 6.  

Sophomore thrower Andrea Hiler is the only Bronco to be competing in more than one individual event. The Second Team All-MAC selection will compete in the shot put at 1 p.m. on Thursday and the discus at 3 p.m. on  Friday. Hiler ranks 39th in the shot put with a season-best distance of 15.16m/49-9. The Watervliet, Mich., native ranks 12th in the region in the discus with her school-record distance of 52.53m/172-4.

The only other field competitor for Western Michigan is sophomore jumper Chiara Allen. Allen competes in the triple jump on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. The Lake Orion, Mich., native finished in second place at the MAC Championships in the triple jump and holds a seed distance of 12.56m/41-2.50, which is also the WMU school record. 

Iris Campbell competes in the 400 meter hurdles at 5 p.m. on Thursday. The reigning MAC Championship Most Outstanding Track Performer ranks 28th with a seed time of 59.26 seconds. Campbell competed at the NCAA East Preliminaries last season, advancing to the NCAA Championship after finishing 12th in qualifying. 

Campbell, along with Victoria Chatman, Andrea Arnold and Leya Munwam will represent WMU in the 4x400 meter relay on Saturday night at 9:45 p.m. The relay team boasts a seed time of 3:38.32 and ranks 19th in the region. Based on seed times the Broncos could need to run a sub-3:37 time to advance.

Chatman also competes on Friday evening in the first round of the 400 meter dash preliminaries at 7:45 p.m. Chatman is currently ranked 20th and must finish in the top 24 to move on to Friday's quarterfinals. From then if she finishes in the top 12 she will move on to the NCAA Championships. The senior's seed time of 53.28 is just .28 shy of the 12th fastest mark in the region.

The 800 meter run is the only event in which the Broncos will have multiple individuals competing. Sophomore Aisha Hodge and junior Rachel Whitley will both compete in the first round of qualifying on Friday night. Hodge's seed time of 2:07.39 ranks 32nd, while Whitley ranks 43rd. Hodge, who's time is a personal-best and the third fastest in program history, finished runner up in the 800 at the MAC Championship and was named Second Team All-MAC. 

Senior Samantha Draney closes down competition on Friday with the 10k at 9:40 p.m. Draney, who holds the school record in the event, was the last athlete in and holds the 48th qualifying position with a time of 35:34.83.