Track & Field NCAA Preliminary Round ACCtion: May 27-29

May 30, 2010

Clemson Qualifies 16 Individuals, One Relay For NCAA Outdoor Championships

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Clemson concluded the East Preliminary Track & Field Round by qualifying a total of 16 individuals and one relay for the NCAA Outdoor Championships to be held June 9-12 in Eugene, OR. Fourteen different student-athletes combined to secure the spots in the NCAA national field. The women's program had 10 individual qualifiers, plus a relay. The men's squad had six individuals qualify.

The women's total is a program high for the number of NCAA Outdoor qualifiers. The previous best was five individuals and one relay team at the 1992 meet in Austin, Texas.

"The student-athletes really came together at this championship meet," said Lawrence Johnson, Clemson's Director of Track & Field. "The Eastern portion of the first round of the NCAA Championships is as tough as it gets. We had several automatic qualifiers, and then some kids that got in on time. The ones that didn't get in put up some fantastic times, some personal bests. I couldn't be more excited and proud of our kids."

Duke Advances Five To NCAA Championships

GREENSBORO, N.C. - On the final day of competition at the Eastern Preliminary Round, freshman Austin Gamble broke his own school record in the discus for a second time this season as the rookie led a group of five Duke track and field student-athletes to qualify for the 2010 NCAA Track & Field Championships.

Gamble finished in fourth overall with a throw of 180-feet, 10-inches to eclipse his previous mark of 179-feet, 5-inches that led him to all-conference honors at the ACC Championships. The Weston, Fla., native was the highest finishing rookie at the event, and one of only two freshman to place in the top-20.

Inclement weather postponed both the 3,000m steeplechase events to Saturday morning, but the schedule change did not affect ACC Champion Ryan McDermott, who will also move on to the NCAA Championships. McDermott posted a personal-best 8:44.36, the No. 2 all-time performance at Duke, to finish sixth overall.

Florida State Qualifies 11 In Last Day Of Regionals

GREENSBORO, N.C. - The Florida State track and field teams closed out the last day of the NCAA East Regional Championships on a high note as 11 Seminoles earned qualifying marks to earn a spot at the final site in Eugene, Oregon. FSU advanced a total of 18 athletes throughout the weekend for the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships beginning June 9-12.

"The last two days have been incredible," FSU head coach Bob Braman said. "We took advantage of every point we could get. We really had a great meet. The first day we had a couple of people compete really well and had a few not make it, but really we had almost everyone we could get through and a few extras. The kids who got through weren't in seventh or eighth place, but they were automatic qualifiers who finished in first, second or third. We overcame an unbelievably bad lane draw in the 4x100m and ran the second-fastest time in the meet. Then you have Kim jump over 14 feet which not a lot of people have done in the history of the meet. I just couldn't be any happier right now."

Highlighting the day for the women was Kim Williams in the triple jump. The Seminole dominated the event as she shattered her previous season-best mark with a leap of 14.03m to win first place. The impressive jump is noted as the worlds' 10th best performance this year.

Georgia Tech's Jordan Impressive In Triple Jump On Final Day Of NCAA Eastern Preliminary Round

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Members of the Georgia Tech men's and women's track and field team's finished off competition on the final day of the 2010 NCAA Eastern Preliminary Round meet held at the Irwin Belk Track on the campus of North Carolina A&T, Saturday.

The Yellow Jackets were led on the afternoon by senior Alphonso Jordan, who earned a spot in the upcoming NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships with an impressive leap of 54 feet, four inches in the triple jump to place second overall in the event. The mark also breaks an outdoor school-record in event (previously 53 feet, 9.25 inches, which Jordan set last season) and enables the Charlotte, N.C. native to participate in the triple jump at the NCAA Outdoor Championships for the third straight year.

In other action on the day, senior Steve Marcelle, who also earned a spot at the NCAA Outdoors last night with a seventh place finish in the shot put, placed 17th in the discus today with a final mark of 171 feet, four inches.

Maryland's Kelsey Runs Personal-Best Steeplechase

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Senior Greg Kelsey and junior Kristen Batts represented Maryland in the final day of the 2010 NCAA East Preliminary Round held on the Irwin Belk Track at North Carolina A&T's Aggie Stadium on Saturday.

Senior Greg Kelsey posted the best performance of his career in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, running the event in 8:55.80. Competing in one of three heats, Kelsey finished with the 18th-best time overall, which does not qualify him for finals competition. Kelsey is still fifth all-time at Maryland in the event after shaving over four seconds off of his personal-best mark.

On the women's side, junior Kristen Batts took 27th place in the discus throw with a toss of 150-09. This concludes the junior's commendable season on the field.

Miami's Nelms and Men's 4x100 Set School Records En Route To NCAA's

GREENSBORO, N.C. - In the final day of the NCAA East Preliminary Round, the University of Miami Hurricanes saw Cory Nelms and the men's 4x100 Relay break school records and a total of nine student-athletes advance to the NCAA National Championships, Saturday at Irwin Belk Track.

"I am very proud of our teams this weekend," said Director of Track and Field Amy Deem. "Everyone stepped up and competed extremely hard."

Cory Nelms' senior season has been his best. In the national quarterfinals of the 110m hurdles, the Neptune, N.J. native set a school record in winning the first of three heats with a time of 13.65 seconds.

Nelms had already advanced to the NCAA Championships earlier in the day, as a member of the 4x100 relay team. Running the first leg, followed by DeMarcus Van Dyke, Travis Benjamin and Brandon McGee, Nelms and his team broke their own school record - placing third in the third and final quarterfinal heat at 39.57 seconds.

Carolina Wraps Up East Regional With Four More Bids

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Ashley Verplank, Vanneisha Ivy and Brie Felnagle earned spots to compete at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships based on their performances on Saturday to finish up the East Regional. The University of North Carolina track and field programs will see nine individuals and one relay compete for national titles in Eugene, Ore., June 9-12.

Verplank raced 4:18.79 in the 1500 to secure her place in the final. This will be her first appearance at a track national championship as an individual. She previously earned All-America honors in 2009 for her part in the distance medley relay.

The 100-meter hurdle semi-final saw Ivy run 13.08, another top-five school record after Friday's record-breaking 13.06 quarter-final run, securing her a second-straight appearance to the NCAA Championships in the same event. Ivy earned outdoor All-America honors in the 100 hurdles in 2009.

NC State's Martinez and Hill Advance To NCAA Outdoor Championships

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Wolfpack senior John Martinez and freshman Ryan Hill will both advance to the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, after qualifying in their events today at the eastern preliminary round at North Carolina A&T in Greensboro.

Martinez was scheduled to run the 3000 meter steeplechase on Friday evening, but the race was postponed until this morning due to weather. The delay didn't seem to hinder his performance, however, as he finished fifth to advance to the national meet, which will be held in Eugene, Oregon, June 9-12. Martinez, who graduated from NC State last week, clocked in at 9:43.70.

Hill was the Wolfpack's last performer of the meet, running the 5000 meters, an event in which he holds the school record. He finished ninth in the event with a time of 14:11.78.

Virginia Sends Two More To NCAAs On Final Day Of East Preliminary Round

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Virginia qualified two more Cavaliers for the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday at the NCAA East Preliminary Round at North Carolina A&T's Irwin Belk Track. Juniors Steve Finley and Marcus Robinson will join senior Meghan Briggs and Steve Delice, juniors Ryan Collins and Andy Fahringer, sophomores Tara Karin and Lance Roller and freshman Robby Andrews to form Virginia's team at the national championships.

Finley opened the day strong for the Cavaliers after remaining focused through a weather delay that postponed last night's 3000m steeplechase until this morning. Among the 48 competitors, Finley finished third in a personal-best time of 8:40.56 to advance to his second-consecutive NCAA Championship. Finley finished 21st at last year's national meet.

Robinson then qualified for nationals in the triple jump, leaping 51' 5.5" for 10th place. This will mark Robinson's first appearance at NCAAs.

Six More Hokies Qualify For Finals To Close Out NCAA Prelim Meet

GREENSBORO, N.C. - The Virginia Tech track and field squads qualified six more athletes in three more events to the national finals on Saturday closing the NCAA Track and Field East Preliminary Round strongly in Greensboro, N.C.

Senior hurdler Queen Harrison went two-for-two on the weekend after qualifying for the national finals in the 100-meter hurdles on Saturday. Harrison clocked a 12.69, the fastest time in the quarterfinals of the race, to punch her ticket to Eugene, Ore. Harrison also qualified for the national finals in the 400-meter hurdles, running 55.07 in the quarterfinals of the race on Friday.

Senior Kristi Castlin, ranked third in the 100-meter hurdles coming into the weekend, also took care of business in the event, finishing third overall to join Harrison in the 100-meter hurdle finals out west. Castlin earned a time of 12.83 in the quarterfinals.

Demon Deacon 4x400 Relay Moves On To NCAA Championships

GREENSBORO, NC - The Wake Forest men's 4x400m relay put a cap on the NCAA Preliminaries Saturday night at the Irwin Belk Track with a season-best performance and earned a trip to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore.

The Demon Deacon team of seniors Tyler Dodds, Brent LaRue, Jon Reid and junior Allan Lunkenheimer came into the event with a season-best time of 3:08.48 and were looking for either a top-3 finish in their heat or one of the next three best times. Dodds opened the race with a very good opening leg and then passed off to LaRue. The field started to spread out over the second leg and LaRue was able to push to the fourth position as he handed off to Lunkenheimer.

Lunkenheimer then moved into third place around the final turn and handed to Reid for the anchor leg. Reid held the third spot for most of his leg but Donte Holmes of Delaware State and Aaron Younger of Rutgers were able to overtake him down the final straightaway. However, the Deacons' season-best time of 3:06.81 was good enough to grab one of the final three-best times to earn a spot in the championship field.

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