MAC Track and Field Athletes Advance to NCAA Championships

Updated 5/30/2006

May 30, 2006

Smialek Heads to NCAA Track and Field Championships

Senior captures high jump at Saturday's Mideast Regional Championships; Zips send six to nationals

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Tomasz Smialek (Tomaszow Mazowiecki, Poland/Pierwsze Liceum) became the sixth member of the University of Akron track and field program to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships by capturing the high jump Saturday on the final day of competition at the Mideast Regional meet, which took place at Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium on the campus of the University of Tennessee.

Smialek, who cleared a season-best 7-02.25 in winning his first regional crown, joins teammates Ashley Kaufman (Freedom, Pa./Freedom Area HS), John Russell (Princeton, Ohio/Princeton HS), Natalie Sako (Parma, Ohio/Valley Forge HS), Randall Hafner (Willard, Ohio/Willard HS) and Auston Papay (Sharon, Pa./Sharon HS) on the men's and women's qualifying list.

All six finished among the top five in their events this weekend, sending them to the NCAA meet which is being held on June 7-10 on the campus of Sacramento State University. There are a limited number of at-large berths available in each event, but no Zips are in a position to receive one based current marks. Akron sent 21 men and women to this weekend's meet.

Kaufman, Russell, Sako and Smialek have each made multiple appearances at the national level, while Hafner and Papay hit the national scene for the first in their careers. Kaufman (javelin), Russell (pole vault), Sako (high jump), Hafner (discus) and Papay (discus) advanced during yesterday's action.

Smialek was the only of the 10 Zips in action today to advance to the national meet. Liz Mangen (Houston, Ohio/Russia Local HS), Jenna Strouse (Mt. Vernon, Ohio/Mt. Vernon HS) and Ryan Jones (Twinsburg, Ohio/Twinsburg HS/Lakeland CC) had the best chances among those not advancing, with each coming within a few spots of reaching the NCAAs.



Mangen and Strouse finished eighth and ninth, respectively, in the discus. Mangen went 159-03 and Strouse tossed the implement 157-05.

Jones was tied for eighth in the high jump with a leap of 6-09.00. Tone Belt of Louisville also cleared 7-02.25, but Smialek won on fewer misses.

Amy Lavalley (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor HS) and Jennifer Peck (Maumee, Ohio/Springfield HS/Bowling Green) each had career days, but it was not enough to advance. Lavalley had a personal-best toss of 182-05 to finish 11th in the hammer throw and Peck went a career-best 12-06.00 to claim 13th place in the pole vault.

Stevi Large (Somerset, Ohio/Sheridan HS) finished 18th in the hammer with a toss of 171-07, well off her school-record 188-09. Jessica Miller (Wooster, Ohio/Wooster HS) was 14th in the pole vault with a clearance of 12-00.00, while Papay missed out on qualifying in a second event, finishing 12th (55-02) in the shot put.

Morgan Sulzener (New Philadelphia, Ohio/New Philadelphia HS) was the Zips final competitor of the weekend. She finished 24th (11:17.03) in Saturday evening's 3,000-meter steeplechase -UA-

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The Ball State track and field team completed the final day of competition at the 2006 Mideast Regional Championships Saturday at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tenn.

Ball State junior Tamelca Lewis (Kingston, Jamaica/Wolmers High for Girls) was the final competitor for the Cardinals on Saturday as she finished 14th in the triple jump with a distance of 39-08 1/2.

On Friday the remainder of the BSU squad competed at the event, including sophomore Amber Williams (Fort Wayne, Ind./Concordia Lutheran), who finished 25th in the prelims of the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.10. Fellow sophomore Yvonne Ferguson (Pittsburgh, Pa./Westinghouse) posted a 54.20 clocking in the 400-meter dash to finish 14th in the prelims. Both Williams and Ferguson finish their sophomore outdoor seasons at the prestigious event.

Senior Jill Scully (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) and junior Amanda Barnhart (Lafayette, Ind./Jefferson) have the potential to earn at-large bids in the 5,000-meter run and the long jump, respectively. Scully finished ninth with a time of 16:51.25 in the 5,000, while Barnhart turned in a 12th-place finish with a taping of 19-7 1/2 in the long jump. The top five finishers in each event automatically qualify for the 2006 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, while places six through 12 have the possibility of earning at at-large bid. The final list of competitors will be made available Tuesday.

Scully already automatically qualified for the 2006 NCAA Championships in the 10,000-meter run after capturing a school-record time of 33:54.66 earlier this season at the Stanford Invitational. The championships will be held June 7-10 in Sacremento, Calif.

GREENSBORO, NC - Two University at Buffalo athletes have advanced to the NCAA Track and Field Championships with their top performances at the NCAA East Regional Championships which concluded Saturday at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro's Irwin Belk Track.

Women's javelin thrower Vanessa Roelofsen (Alma, Ontario/Norwell District SS) and men's long jumper Roy Richards (Rochester, NY/Edison Tech) finished in the top five in their events to automatically qualify for the national championship meet to be held June 7-10 in Sacramento, CA.

Roelofsen finished second in the javelin with a throw of 164-9 (50.22m). The distance was second only to UNC-Wilmington's Anna Raynor (168-0, 51.20m), who also defeated Roelofsen when the two athletes met at the UNCW Seahawk Invitational to open the outdoor season in March. Roelofsen, a Second Team All-Mid-American Conference honoree also earned All-East recognition with her performance.

Richards finished fourth in the men's long jump, breaking a six-year old UB record in the process. Richards posted a career-best and school record mark of 24-11 (7.59m) to break the mark of 24-10 (7.56m) set by MAC champion Kamau Halim in 2000. Richards finished second in his flight behind Florida State's Johnta Griffin (25-2.75, 7.69m). Florida's Mike Morrison won the overall title with a leap of 25-6.75 (7.79m). For his efforts, Richards also earned All-East honors.

Three additional UB athletes also competed over the weekend.

In the men's triple jump, Rayshon Higgins (Buffalo, NY/Bishop Timon-St. Jude) placed 13th with a distance of 49-8.25 (15.14m). Brian Heim (East Amherst, NY/Williamsville East) finished 16th overall in the men's 400-meter hurdles in 52.02. Heim finished second in his heat as the top finisher in each of the six heats and the next two fastest overall times moved into the finals. Both Higgins and Heim won MAC championships in their respective events on May 13.

Freshman Caitlin Godin (Rochester, NY/Greece Arcadia) competed in the women's high jump but finished with no height. She was unable to clear the opening height of 5-7.25 (1.71m).

In the team points competition, the UB women finished with eight points for Roelofsen's second-place finish, placing 25th among 52 teams. The UB men scored five points for Richards' fourth-place showing and tied for 38th overall among 54 squads. South Carolina's women (79.5) and Florida State's men (97) took the team titles.

Glenn Advances to NCAA Championships in 110m Hurdles

Fourth-place finish at Mideast Regional locks up an automatic spot for Chippewa.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Central Michigan University hurdler Clarence Glenn finished fourth in the final of the 110m hurdles to automatically qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, Calif., June 7-10. Glenn ran 13.96 on a hot day into a headwind to earn his first trip to the NCAA outdoor meet.

"Clarence is really maturing as an athlete and he demonstrated it today," CMU head coach Jim Knapp said. "He had a really slow start and was last at the first hurdle, but he didn't panic and he made up ground to get his automatic berth. He's becoming a national-caliber hurdler, and I'm really proud of what he accomplished today."

Glenn joins pole vaulter Dave Jones as Chippewas automatically qualified for the NCAA meet. Several other athletes could be added to the field as at-large selections based on their qualifying times. The at-large bids will be handed out by the NCAA on Tuesday, May 30.

Also on Saturday, Matt Loiselle finished eighth in the 3000m steeplechase with a time of 8:59.21, just missing out on an automatic berth to the NCAA meet. -###-

Thomas Qualifies for NCAA Championships in 100m Hurdles
Senior will conclude her career in California in two weeks.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Central Michigan University senior Tamera Thomas finished fourth in the final of the 100m hurdles at the NCAA Mideast Regional today, earning an automatic berth to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, Calif., June 7-10. Thomas ran 13.36 into a slight headwind to lock up her spot at the NCAA meet.

"Tamera did what she needed to do today, and that was to qualify for the NCAA meet," CMU head coach Karen Lutzke said. "Now, she gets a chance to close her career at the national championships, which I know she's really excited about."

Thomas is the lone automatic qualifier out of the Mideast Regional for CMU. Sophomore Jenaie Edwards, who finished ninth in yesterday's preliminaries of the 400m and missed out on running in today's final, could still earn an at-large bid to the NCAA meet based on her regional qualifying time of 52.82. At-large qualifiers will be announced by the NCAA on Tuesday, May 30. -###-

Track and Field Sends Five To NCAA Championships
Kring, Adamek, Nowitzke, McCullough, Dooley all qualify for NCAA championships

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The Eastern Michigan University men's and women's track teams put the finishing touches on the two-day 2006 NCAA Mideast Regional Outdoor Track and Field Championships on the Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium Saturday with several NCAA-Championship qualifying efforts.

For the EMU men and women a total of five individuals qualified for the NCAA Championships, set for June 7-10 in Sacramento, Calif., by finishing in the top five during the regional championships.

A pair of field-event performers started the men's team on the right track Saturday as both high jumper Adam Kring (Jeddo, Mich.-Port Huron Northern) and shot putter David Adamek (Ridgeway, Ontario, Canada-Ridgeway Crystal Beach) qualified for the NCAA Championships, set for June 7-10 in Sacramento, Calif. The top five individuals in each event along with the top three relay teams qualify for the NCAA meet. Kring finished tied for third in the high jump with a season's best effort of 6-feet-11 inches. Adamek turned in a personal best of 60-feet-1 inch for a third place in the shot put.

Corey Nowitzke (Monroe, Mich.-Monroe) finished the evening for the Eagles by running a 8:49.39 clocking in the 3,000-meter steeplechase to finish fourth and qualify for the NCAA meet.

Long jumper Ashley McCullough (Dayton, Ohio-Colonel White) jump-started the women's qualifiers by finishing fourth in the long jump at 20-feet-10 inches to make the NCAA Championship meet field.

Chrystal Dooley (Westerville, Ohio-Westerville South) made it two Eagles into the nationals with a fourth-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles in a time of :56.75.

EMU athletes competing Saturday that did not qualify for the NCAA meet included Eric Alejandro (Pembroke Pines, Fla.-Flanagan) who placed eighth in the 400-meter hurdles in :51.87; and from late Friday night, long jumper Edouard Joliveau (Mennecy, France-University Pierre/Marie Curie) who finished 14th with a leap of 24-feet-1.5 inches.

On the women's side, the EMU 4 x 400-meter relay team of Patrice Beasley (Romulus, Mich.-Romulus), Dooley, LaQuae Jones (Massillon, Ohio-Washington) and Bria Woods (Akron, Ohio-East), just missed scoring in the regional, finishing ninth in 3:40.98.

Sarah Landau Successfully Defends MidEast Region Pole Vault Title

Sophomore Pole Vaulter Earns Bid to National Meet June 8-10 in Sacramento, Calif.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - With a first-place vault of 13-3 3/4 at the regional meet, Miami University sophomore Sarah Landau (Geneva, Ill.) successfully defended her NCAA MidEast Regional pole vault title and earned a spot in the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

On Saturday at Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium, Landau won her second consecutive regional pole vault title, turning in her fifth clearance of 13-0 or better this season. As the only athlete at the regional meet to clear 13-0, Landau bested the 26-athlete field and advanced to the national meet June 8-10 in Sacramento, Calif.

Behind Landau in the pole vault, Michelle Rzepka of McNeese State (12-11 3/4) and Jessica Reust of Tennessee (12-11 3/4) rounded out the top three finishers.

Landau's regional pole vault crown continues a successful sophomore campaign. In her second year in the Red and White, Landau swept both the Mid-American Conference Indoor and Outdoor pole vault titles and reset the Miami indoor pole vault record (13-5). The pole vault win at the regional meet was Landau's sixth of the season, as she also notched wins at the Southern Illinois Invitational (March 25), SeaRay Relays (April 14), Southern Ohio Cup (April 22), Billy Hayes Invitational (May 5) and MAC Championships (May 12).

Landau will be making her second consecutive appearance at the NCAA Championships after narrowly missing out on All-American honors as a freshman. At last season's national meet, Landau finished 11th overall and as the ninth American finisher with a vault of 13-5 1/4.

Three RedHawks Complete First Day at MidEast Regional

Huling, Swisher and Sovacool Represent Miami at Regional Meet in Knoxville

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Senior Dan Huling (Geneva, Ill.) placed eighth in the 5,000 meters and freshman Pat Sovacool (Lakewood, Ohio) and senior Chris Swisher (Milan, Ind.) finished 13th and 16th in the 1,500-meter preliminaries, respectively, as the Miami University men's track and field team wrapped up the first day of competition at the NCAA MidEast Regional.

At the Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium, Huling was the top Miami finisher with his eighth-place time of 14:17.94 in the 5,000 meters. As the top finisher in the event from the Mid-American Conference, Huling did not automatically qualify for the regional meet as he finished outside of the top five, but he has a chance to qualify as an at-large selection. In order to be eligible for an at-large bid, an athlete must finish among the top 12 in their event. Josphat Boit of Arkansas (14:00.73) won the 5,000-meter race, while Tonny Okello of South Alabama (4:01.15) and Chris Solinsky of Wisconsin (14:02.01) rounded out the top three finishers.

In the preliminary heats of the 1,500 meters, Sovacool and Swisher placed 13th and 16th, respectively. Sovacool clocked in with at time of 3:52.31, while Swisher finished in 3:58.12. Both runners narrowly missed proceeding to the finals of the 1,500 meters as only the top 12 times advanced to Saturday's finals.

Huling is the only men's track athlete scheduled for competition on Saturday as he will run in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. The event is slated for 8:10 p.m.

Knoxville, TN - The Northern Illinois University throwing specialists proved to be one of the many high spots for the 2006 Huskie women's track and field squad, as juniors Ashley Morrow (O'Fallon), Margaret Gorski (Elmwood Park) and sophomore Jennene Anthony (East St. Louis /Senior) each advanced to the NCAA Regionals, hosted by Tennessee, at Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium over this past weekend.

Both Morrow and Gorski concluded their season on Friday (May 26) afternoon in the shot put. Morrow placed 20th overall with a toss of 46'8 1/4", followed by Gorski's 27th-place mark of 45'1 3/4". Southern Illinois' Amarachi Ukabam won the overall title with a heave of 58'11 1/2".