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    NCAA Track Update - Friday, 5/24

    MSU Has Another Outstanding Day On The Track
    Friday, Mississippi State maintained it’s momentum from Thursday as it punched four more tickets to the NCAA Track & Field nationals, slated for June 5-8 in Eugene, Ore.
    In the East Preliminary round at North Carolina A&T, Olympian Daundry Barnaby ran 46.61 in the 400-meter dash to place sixth, while on the women’s side Jody-Ann Muir posted a time of 52.02 to cross the finish line third.
    In the 400-meter hurdles, Scottie Hearns gets his first taste of competing for a national title after qualifying with a time of 51.91 to finish ninth.
    “The goal is to get to Oregon, and they did that,” MSU coach Steve Dudley said. “Today, it was less about time and more about strategy.”
    But it wasn’t just the track the Bulldogs enjoyed success.
    In field event action, freshman Piotr Antosik threw a personal best 226-00 in the javelin to finish 11.
    “I’m just so excited for Piotr,” Dudley said. “He has worked so hard in practice and to come out and throw a personal best on this stage says a lot about him and his future.”
    Saturday, MSU concludes action looking to advance in five more events – the men’s high jump, men’s and women’s triple jump and men’s and women’s 4x400 meter relay.

    Isiah Young Tops In 100, 200 At NCAA East Prelims Friday

    GREENSBORO, N.C. – A day after shattering records in the 100 meter first round, Ole Miss senior Isiah Young was on top of his game again Friday to lead the Rebels on the second day of the NCAA East Preliminary Round, hosted by North Carolina A&T University.

    Young posted the top qualifying time in both the 100 and 200 meter races on Friday, further cementing his place as a favorite in the national title hunt. He ran 10.01 in the 100 meter quarterfinals to advance to the national finals in Eugene, Ore., which will take place June 5-8. He followed that up by clocking 20.34 in the 200 meter first round and moving on to Saturday’s quarterfinals (6:50 p.m. CT).

    On Thursday, Young ran a 9.99 to break his own school record and the NCAA East Prelims record in the 100. He became the 39th American to ever run sub-10 seconds and the first collegian to do it this year. His time of 10.01 on Friday would have broken his previous school record (10.05 at the SEC Championships) had it not been for Thursday’s performance.

    He remains fourth in the world in the 100 and third in the world in the 200 this year.  His time of 20.20 won him his second straight SEC outdoor title in the 200 just a couple of weeks ago in Columbia, Mo.

    Young joined sophomore Sam Kendricks and junior Mary Ashton Nall as Rebels who have advanced to Eugene. Kendricks will compete in the men’s pole vault there, while Nall will take part in the women’s heptathlon.

    One other Rebel advanced past the first round on Friday. Sophomore Taryn Hartfield ran a personal-best 13.50 in the 100-meter hurdles to move on to Saturday’s quarterfinals (6:05 p.m. CT). That time keeps her third-best in the Ole Miss record books.

    Eight Gators Punch Tickets to Eugene on Second Day of NCAA Prelims

    GREENSBORO, N.C. - Eight members of the Florida track and field teams qualified to compete at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. by way of Greensboro and the NCAA East Preliminary Round Friday. In addition, six event qualifiers from Friday and two from Thursday will all compete in their respective quarterfinals Saturday with a trip to Eugene on the line.

    "I'm extremely proud of all of our athletes who advanced to the NCAA Championships in Eugene," Florida head coach Mike Holloway said. "It's always great to have your teammates with you for the finals and we're looking forward to another great showing tomorrow."

    Senior All-American Ugonna Ndu (Newark, N.J.) was the top qualifier in the women's 400-meter hurdles Friday, racing to an easy win in her quarterfinal in 57.08 and punching her ticket to Eugene. She also reached her second quarterfinal of the weekend, turning in a new all-conditions best in the women's 100-meter hurdles. Ndu won her heat in 13.04 (+3.3) and will race in the quarters at 7:05 p.m. Saturday.

    "Ugonna is a special athlete and she and Coach (Erin) Tucker have a great bond," Holloway commented. "She's had a great weekend so far and I look forward to seeing her run tomorrow in the 100 hurdles. For her to be the top qualifier in the 400 hurdles speaks to the hard work she's put in this year."

    Junior Darshay Davis (Mirimar, Fla.) advanced to Eugene in the women's 100 meters for the second consecutive year, crossing the finish in a new all-conditions best of 11.29 (+3.8). She also qualified out of the preliminaries of the women's 200 meters in 23.80, nabbing a spot in the quarterfinals at 7:35 p.m.

    Joining Davis in the 200 quarterfinals is freshman Destinee Gause (Reynoldsburg, Ohio), who improved her standing in the Florida record books with her PR of 23.24 (+1.0). Gause now ranks seventh all-time at UF in the event.

    "I'm really proud of both Darshay and Destinee," Holloway stated. "For Darshay to advance to the finals site speaks volumes of the work she has put in outdoors this year. I look forward to their race in the 200 tomorrow. Darshay wasn't especially pleased with her time but she has the chance to improve tomorrow. For Destinee to run a PR at NCAAs is great, especially for a freshman, and she has the potential for a great day tomorrow."

    Five of the Gators' quartermilers advanced to Eugene in the respective 400 races, as Arman Hall (Pembroke Pines, Fla.), Najee Glass (Woodbridge, N.J.) and Hugh Graham, Jr. (Miami, Fla.) will represent the men at Hayward Field, while Ebony Eutsey (Miami, Fla.) and Lanie Whittaker (Miami, Fla.) will race for the Orange and Blue in Oregon.

    "It's always great to have so many of your teammates with you in a field of 24," Holloway noted. "I think it speaks highly of their work ethic and while I would have loved to have all six of our 400 runners make it to Eugene, five out of six is great too."

    Hall was the top overall UF qualifier with a time of 46.43, while Glass and Graham, Jr. grabbed the final two spots to Eugene with times of 46.66 and 46.68, respectively. For the women, Eutsey automatically qualified with her second-place finish in the first quarterfinal in 52.54, while Whittaker earned an auto-qualifier finish with her time of 52.97 in the third quarterfinal.

    Junior Sean Obinwa (Tampa, Fla.) advanced to Eugene in the men's 800 meters, running the fourth-fastest time of his career outdoors to finish fourth overall in 1:47.98. Fellow junior distance runner Mark Parrish (Tampa, Fla.) advanced on time in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase, turning in the top qualifying time of 8:43.63 after his fourth-place finish in the quarterfinals of the event. This is Parrish's first NCAA Finals appearance.

    "I'm extremely proud of Mark Parrish and the work he's done to get to this point," Holloway said. "He's been working incredibly hard and he rebounded well from his finish at SECs to get to Eugene."

    Junior Eddie Lovett (West Palm Beach, Fla.) cruised to a win in his preliminary of the men's 110-meter hurdles, crossing the finish in 13.53. Lovett was the second overall qualifier in the event.

    "We have to remember to come out tomorrow and be the Gators," Holloway said. "This is a win or go home situation and we have to keep a positive attitude and compete at our best."

    Action at the NCAA East Preliminary Round finishes Saturday, as the men's hammer throw kicks things off on the final day of competition. Seniors Jeremy Postin (Andover, Kan.) and David Triassi (Jacksonville, Fla.) will be joined by sophomores David Levin (Altamonte Springs, Fla.) and Kyle Strawn (Temecula, Calif.) in the circle Saturday. Levin will compete in the first flight of the event, Triassi in the second while Postin and Strawn will throw in the third flight. 16 will advance to the finals and 12 of those final athletes will move on to Eugene.

    48 individual qualifiers and 24 relay teams from each region are competing at either the East or West Preliminary Rounds, as the qualifiers are then whittled down to 24 individuals and 12 relays who will advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., June 5-8. Florida was awarded 48 qualifiers (22 men, 26 women) for the NCAA East Preliminary Round.

    Georgia Track & Field Has ‘Incredible Day’ At NCAA East Prelims

    GREENSBORO, N.C. --- The Bulldog track and field program had an unprecedented 12 qualifiers for the NCAA Championships during the NCAA East Prelims in Greensboro, N.C., on Friday.

    Freshman Shaunae Miller (women’s 400-meter dash), junior Johnathan Smith (men’s 100), junior Megan Malasarte (women’s 800), sophomore Charles Grethen and Kisean Smith (men’s 800), sophomore Drew Branch (men’s 400 hurdles), senior Leslie Boozer (women’s steeplechase), sophomore Morgann Leleux (women’s pole vault), junior Caleb Whitener and sophomore Nick Vena (men’s shot put) and senior Saniel Atkinson-Grier and freshman Leontia Kallenou (women’s high jump) all guaranteed their spots at the final round of the NCAA Championships.

    Georgia also had a pair of team members advance to quarterfinal rounds in their respective events.  They will compete again on Saturday at the East Prelims.

    On the first day of the meet, freshman Chanice Porter also punched her ticket to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., on June 5-8 by taking 10th in the long jump on Thursday.

    On Saturday, freshman Freya Jones opens the field events in the women’s javelin at noon.  The women’s 4x100 relay team is set to compete in the quarterfinal round at 6 p.m.

    “We had an incredible day and one that sets us up well for Eugene,” said Georgia assistant coach Pat Cunniff.  “We had athletes in all phases of the sport qualify which shows how well-rounded our teams are right now.  I am excited that everyone is performing so well at this point in the season and this should bode well for our team in a couple weeks.”

    Bulldog assistant coach Jon Stuart was also satisfied with Georgia’s performance on Friday.

    “We really took care of business today,” said Stuart.  “We qualified a great number of our team to the NCAA Championships.  Once Kisean qualified in the 800, the rest of the team just took off!  We just got on a roll and couldn't stop.”

    The top 12 finishers in either in the quarterfinal or semifinal rounds (depending on the event) at the East Prelims or West Prelims (Austin, Texas) advance to the finals of the NCAA Championships in Eugene.

    After recording the nation’s fourth-fastest 400 time in the prelims, Miller returned to register the country’s second-fastest time in the quarterfinals.  She won her heat by more than a second with a 51.72 and will now be gunning to sweep the 400 after winning the 2013 NCAA indoor crown in the event.

    Johnathan Smith had the fifth fastest 100 time in his heat and the 11th best overall in the quarterfinals to advance to NCAAs.  He finished in 10.30 as five of 12 sprinters who qualified in the East Prelims were from the SEC.

    Malasarte, who was seventh in the 800 finals at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships, qualified automatically after clocking a 2:07.28 to take second in her heat.  

    In the men’s 800, two Bulldogs locked down their invitations to the University of Oregon by finishing in the top 12.  Kisean Smith arrived at the meet tied for 87th on the national list with a career-best time of 1:50.05.  On Friday, the Snellville native sped around for a personal-best time of 1:49.80 to be second in his heat and earn a trip to the NCAA Championships in his first season.

    Grethen was also second in his heat with a time of 1:51.72 to advance in the 800.  This will mark his first trip to NCAAs after transferring from Texas State.

    “Both of the 800s were exciting and nerve-racking,” Cunniff said.  “Charles ran a great race and positioned himself perfectly in his race.  Kisean shocked the world with what he did after sneaking through on the rail to qualify.  (Kisean) has to be one of the lowest ranked people in either of the Prelims to qualify.  Finally, Megan showed what great experience she has in races in this level and how strong a runner she is.”

    Branch clocked his second-fastest time of the year in the 400 hurdles to also earn his first trip to the NCAA meet in an individual event.  Branch had a time of 51.68 to take second in his heat.

    Boozer, who set a school record in the steeplechase to take second at the SEC Championships, finished second in her heat in Greensboro with the second-best time of her career.  A team captain for the Lady Bulldog cross country team, Boozer finished her laps in 10:05.47 and will be advancing to the NCAA Championships during her final opportunity outdoors.

    “Leslie had an outstanding showing,” said Cunniff.  “She stalked the leader the whole race and had a strong second-place finish as several runners tried to catch up to her at the end.  This is a great accomplishment for a person who has shown what hard work and dedication can lead to in our program.  I am very proud of her performance tonight.”

    Leleux had one of the smoothest routes to her second consecutive NCAA Championships.  Passing on her first three heights, Leleux cleared 13 feet, 5 ¼ inches on her opening attempt and that is all it took to clinch her spot.  The New Iberia, La., was runner-up at both the 2012 NCAA indoor and outdoor meets and is the two-time defending SEC outdoor champion.

    The final four Bulldog qualifiers came from the men’s shot put and the women’s high jump.  Vena exploded for the fourth-best shot put throw in school history (63-9) to win the competition and move into a tie for the second-best effort in the nation this year.  His longest throw came on his sixth and final attempt after he was tied with Buffalo’s Jonathan Jones going into that round.

    Vena’s teammate Caleb Whitener had the fourth-longest toss in the competition with a mark of 60-10.50 on his fifth attempt.  This will be Whitener’s second try at the NCAA Outdoor Championships after also competing last year.

    A pair of Lady Bulldogs reached the height they needed in the high jump to advance.  The mark that ended up being needed to qualify was 5-11.25 and Atkinson-Grier cleared it on her first try while Kallenou soared over the height on her third and final try.  This will be Kallenou’s first NCAA Championships after she redshirted the indoor campaign.  Atkinson-Grier tied for sixth last year for a First Team All-America certificate.

    Both sophomore Tynia Gaither and Smith also qualified for the quarterfinal round in their 200 races.  Gaither, who missed out on a trip to Eugene in the 100 by less than a hundredth of a second earlier in the night, finished third in her 200 heat to automatically qualify with a 23.64.  Gaither is set to race again at 7:35 p.m. on Saturday.

    3 Crimson Tide Athletes Qualify for NCAA Championships

    GREENSBORO, N.C. – Three University of Alabama student-athletes qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Friday’s action at the NCAA East Regional Preliminaries at North Carolina A&T State University’s Erwin Belk Track & Field Center at Aggie Stadium.

    Diondre Batson added to his stellar first year at the Capstone by punching his ticket to the Outdoor Championships in the 100 meters. The SEC champion in the 100 meters clocked a time of 10.15 while winning his heat. Batson added to his day by advancing to tomorrow’s quarterfinals in the 200 meters as well. The native of Sacramento, Calif., won his heat in a time of 20.59.

    Two senior field athletes earned qualification to the NCAA meet. Krystle Schade will return for the fourth year and will look to add to her already impressive resume in the high jump. In three previous appearances, Schade garnered a fourth place finish in 2012, tied for seventh in 2010 and finished 11th in 2009. Schade finished tied for first on Friday, clearing a mark of 5-11 ¼ (1.81m) before qualifying.

    Joining Schade in Eugene, Ore., will be senior Alexis Paine in the pole vault. Paine finished tied for first on Friday by clearing 13-5 ¼ (4.10m) to earn her way to the NCAA finals.

    Preliminaries for the NCAA Championships will conclude Saturday with the Crimson Tide being represented by six athletes in four events and two relay teams (men’s 4x100-meter relay team and men’s 4x400-meter relay team) competing.

    Six Gamecocks Punch Tickets to NCAA Championships

    GREENSBORO, N.C. – Six Gamecocks claimed entries into the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., on the second day of competition of the NCAA East Preliminary Round at Irwin Belk Track.  Junior Chris Royster became the first male Gamecock to qualify after earning a spot in the 100-meter dash.  Juniors Petra Olsen and Jeannelle Scheper, sophomores Erika Rucker and Tamera Harris along with freshman Tyler Brockington joined sophomore Kayla Lampe on the South Carolina NCAA roster. Two Gamecock hurdlers advanced to quarterfinals as well.

    Rucker advanced on time after clocking in at 52.83 in the first of three heats to book her second-consecutive trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships.  The sophomore five-time All-American has qualified for NCAA Championships each indoor and outdoor season of her career as a Gamecock.

    In the men’s 100-meter dash, Royster ran in the fastest of the heats and advanced to Eugene on time with his 10.33. The two-time All-American has run on relays at the NCAA Outdoor Championships the last two seasons, but this marks his first individual entry into the event.

    The Gamecocks secured two of 12 East region spots in the women’s 400-meter hurdle.  Running in the second heat, Brockington locked in her position after finishing third with a time of 59.04.  After running in the first heat, Harris had to wait to see if she would advance on time.  Once all three heats were completed, Harris had earned her first ticket to the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

    Entering the weekend tied for the lead in the East, Scheper booked a return trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships.  Scheper cleared at three heights before the top 12 were determined. Last year, Scheper finished in 16th place at the NCAA Championships.

    Olsen needed just one clearance to book her second trip to NCAA’s.  After passing on the first two heights, Olsen cleared on her first attempt at 13’1” ½ (4.00m) to grab a top-12 spot. Olsen claimed 12th at last year’s NCAA Championships.

    Senior Kierre Beckles advanced to the 100-meter hurdle quarterfinals after a second-place finish in her heat.  Beckles will race at 7:05 p.m. ET tomorrow for a chance to make a return trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

    Freshman Dondre Echols also moved on to quarterfinals.  Echols matched his collegiate-best of 14.00 in the men’s 110-meter hurdles. The freshman finished third to automatically qualify for tomorrow’s race. His quarterfinal is scheduled for 7:20 p.m. ET.

    For the fourth-consecutive season, the country has been split into two regions - East and West - with the top 48 athletes (24 relays) in each region qualifying for the Preliminary Round. The East Preliminary is being held in Greensboro, N.C., with the West Preliminary taking place in Austin, Texas. The event quarterfinals include 24 student-athletes, 12 of which will receive trips to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., June 5-8. Field events are halted once the top 12 spots have been determined.