Numerous MAC Student-Athletes Qualify for NCAA Track and Field Championships

Updated 5/31/2010
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Valerie Wert and Phil Ferguson qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, while Tyshaun Peoples and Niesha Kelly set UA records Saturday at the NCAA East Preliminary.

In all, five Zips will be competing in six events in the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, held June 9-12 at the University of Oregon. In addition to Wert (hammer and discus) and Ferguson, Carrie Kayes qualified first in the pole vault at the NCAA East. Decathletes Daniel Kinsey and Bjorn Johansson did not have to compete at the NCAA East, rather earning a bid based on the best point total in the event from 2010.

Wert, who qualified for the NCAA Outdoors yesterday in the hammer, placed seventh in the discus Saturday with a throw of 170-1 to earn a bid the NCAA Outdoors for a second event.

Ferguson earned his first NCAA Championship berth, getting the 12th and final spot in the 200m. The Copley product posted a time of 20.85. He attempted to earn a second bid, but his 4x100 relay team with Marcus Ferguson, Lorenzo Brazzell and Aaron Dobson, placed 20th with a time of 40.35.

A pair of Zips, Peoples and Kelly, set school records in their respective events, but did not finish among the top 12 in their events to keep them from advancing to the NCAA Outdoors. Peoples, who set a UA record Friday in the 110 hurdles with a time of 13.98, bettered his mark with a time of 13.91 - the same time as the 13th-place finisher and just three one-hundredths from placing 12th to earn an NCAA bid.

Kelly, who already owned the UA record in the triple jump with a leap of 40-10.50, broke her own mark with a distance of 40-11.75 Saturday to place 20th. Alina Bocicor tied her personal record with a jump of 40-9.50 to place 24th.

Just missing a berth to the NCAA Outdoors was Larisa Arcip in the 1,500. The senior posted a time of 4:22.19, the second-fastest mark in school history, but placed 14th, missing the berth by two spots.

Saturday began with the running of the men's steeplechase at 9:30 am, being postponed from late Friday night due to inclement weather. UA sophomore and school record-holder in the event, Joe McCoy, placed 41st with a time of 9:27.29.

GREENSBORO, NC - University at Buffalo thrower Matt Gac qualified for a second event at the upcoming NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships when he finished sixth in the men's discus throw as the Eastern Preliminary Rounds concluded on Saturday.

Gac finished sixth overall with a best throw of 179-6 (54.73m) coming on his second of six attempts. Gac's toss was good enough to put him among the 16 throwers that advanced to the second round. He turned in a throw of 178-5 (54.40m) on his fifth attempt, fouling on his fourth and sixth attempts. Southeastern Louisiana's Adonson Shallow won the competition with a throw of 187-1 (57.02m).

Gac, who also qualified for the national meet in Thursday's hammer throw, is the first UB athlete to qualify for two separate events in a single NCAA Championship Meet since Sarah Vance qualified in the women's hammer and shot put competitions in 2007.

Three Bulls, Gac, Kristy Woods and Tiffany Maskulinski have qualified for the National Championships, June 9-12 in Eugene, OR. Woods will compete in the women's shot put while Maskulinski will make her second consecutive appearance in the women's pole vault. The total is the most that UB has sent to the Division I National Outdoor Track and Field Championships since 2004 when Laura Olson, Allison Laske and Steve Esler made the national field.

"Our athletes competed with the best and made a big statement," said women's head coach Vicki Mitchell to sum up the weekend. "Tiff [Maskulinski], as always, was calm under pressure and excelled. Kristy [Woods] used the high intensity atmosphere to propel her to a new level and Matt [Gac] made UB history in qualifying in two events."

Central Michigan
For the second-consecutive season, Greg Pilling will represent the Central Michigan track and field program at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, but this time he will have company in the form of Alex Rose.

Pilling launched a throw of 183-2 to finish runner-up in the discus at the NCAA East Region Prelims on Saturday while Rose's toss of 179-5 was good for seventh place.

"Our athletes did a great job competing this weekend in the most competitive regional in the country," head coach Willie Randolph said. "I am elated to see Greg and Alex make it to the NCAA meet. Coach Ridgway has done a great job with a veteran thrower and the top freshman thrower in the region. We look forward to the opportunity for them to compete for a national title.

"Our underclassmen, Dierra Riley, Mykal Imbrock, Branden Post, Raeanne Lohner and Joshua Kettlewell had an important learning curve that will prove valuable to the growth of our program. We are very grateful to our seniors Marcus Breidinger and Erika Schroll for their contributions to our program."

The senior's runner-up finish marked the second-straight year that the London, Ont., native finished runner-up at the regional portion of the competition.

Pilling will compete for All-American honors for the second year in a row while Rose will make his national debut as a freshman.

The national meet will take place June 9-12 in Eugene, Ore.

Kent State
GREENSBORO, N.C. After a week of near misses, director of track and field/CC Bill Lawson was thrilled to see Kent State get a pair of competitors in the NCAA championships. Seniors Brenda Baar (triple jump) and Brittni Borrero (discus) will join sophomore Diana Dumitrescu (heptathlon) and freshman Evan Campbell.

'After the near misses we have had throughout the week, it was a relief to get two athletes through today," said Lawson. "I am proud of all our qualifiers with Diana Dumitrescu in the pentathlon, Kenneth Agee in the high jump and now Brittni in the discus and Brenda in the triple jump. We are sending four kids out to represent Kent State and we were very close to sending seven."

Baar finished eighth among all competitors in the triple jump with a mark of 42'-9.50" (13.04 meters).

"I had a lot of confidence in Brenda Baar and she came through with a personal record and a new Dutch national record. Fantastic job by her and her coach, Adrian Ghioroaie," Lawson said.

Finally, Borrero hung on to 12th-place in the discus with a distance of 162'-11" (49.66 meters).

"Brittni Borrero has been very close to qualifying a number of times, so for here to represent Kent State, especially a place like Eugene, Oregon, will be special for not only Brittni, but for her family. She is a great student athlete with us for five years," Lawson said.
Freshman Kenneth Agee went head-to-head in a jump-off with two others for the final two spots in the NCAA Championships, and he emerged victorious, clearing the bar at 6'-11" (2.11 meters).

"It was a big moment with Kenneth Agee, when he was tied with two other people in 11th place," said Director of Track and Field/CC Bill Lawson. "They have a jump off and he keeps his composure to advance to the NCAA Championships. He just smoked at the bar to get in the big dance and advance to Oregon in the jump-off. This is great experience for a true freshman."

"Kenneth Agee was amazing today," said assistant coach Adrian Ghioroaie. "He was courageous, intelligent and represented Kent State with pride continuing an amazing freshman year for the Golden Flashes. He is one of the few true freshmen that will make it to the NCAA in the high jump."

After two close misses yesterday, Kent State also experienced a third near miss. Freshman Domenica Rossi took 13th in the pole vault with a height of 12'-9.5" (3.90 meters).

The quartet of qualifiers returns to action a week from Wednesday (June 9) at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

GREENSBORO, NC- Jenielle Hunt qualified for the 2010 NCAA Championships on the final day of the East Regional on Saturday, placing 11th in the 3000 meter steeplechase. The senior set a program record in the process, running a very impressive time of 10:31.98. She beat the next qualifier by almost a full second, as Anne Lovelace of Yale snagged the final spot with her 10:32.92.

"Coming in ranked 44th in the event and finishing like that is just phenomenal," said head coach Clay Calkins. "To achieve something like this at such a high level of competition during her senior year truly is a testament to her drive and ability."

Hunt is no stranger to success in the 3000 meter steeplechase, as she shattered the prior program record with her 10:39.77 at the Stanford Invitational on March 27 before ultimately breaking it again today.

"Assistant coach Mitch Bentley has done a great job of preparing our distance runners to compete at such a high level," added Calkins.

Annie Beecham (Granville, Ohio) competed in the 5000 meter run later in the evening, placing 19th overall with her time of 16:39.29. Though this time did not qualify her for the NCAA Championships, it shattered the prior team season-best by over 11 full seconds.

With her tremendous performance on Saturday in Greensboro, Hunt (Pittsburgh, Pa.) will now compete at the 2010 NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon from June 9-12. The competitions will be held at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field .

Western Michigan
GREENSBORO, N.C. -Western Michigan track & field completed the NCAA East Regional in Greensboro, N.C., with the discus throw and the 4x400m Relay team running the eighth fastest time in program history.

Sarah Morris, who holds the school record in the discus at 169-07 set at the Mid-American Championships this year, reached the semifinals of this weekend's NCAA Regional after posting a throw of 158-1 on her second attempt of the afternoon. She ranked 14th after the attempt and was able to advance to today's semifinal as a member of the top 16.

Morris fouled on two of her three attempts in the semifinals and managed a distance of 149-10 on her second throw of the semifinal and finished 16th. Entering the season, Morris held the second best mark, and previous personal best, in the discus with a throw of 160-8 at the 2009 Jack Shaw Invitational.

The WMU 4x400m relay team of Iris Campbell, Victoria Chatman, Ashley Hunault and Jeriesha Tucker ran the eighth fastest time in school history at the NCAA Regionals at 3:40.33. The Bronco team ran in the sixth lane during the second heat.

Two members of the 4x400m relay team, Chapman and Hunault, advanced to the NCAA Championships June 9-12 in Eugene, Ore., in the long jump and 400m dash, respectively.