Track & Field Qualifies 17 Athletes for NCAA East Regional
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars
NEW YORK - The NCAA announced the fields of 48 athletes per event for the two first-round sites for the 2011 NCAA Championships, and 17 Columbia athletes were among the competitors listed for the East qualifying site, which will take place May 26-28 in Bloomington, Ind. Columbia is sending 11 women and a relay squad, the highest number of female student-athletes in the Ivy League.

Under the new format adopted in the 2010 season, the top 12 finishers in each event will advance to the NCAA Championships, which will be held June 9-11 in Des Moines, Iowa. For the opening round, the top 48 athletes in each event will compete to advance to the championship meet. For relay events, the top 24 teams will compete, with the top 12 advancing to the NCAA Championships.

On the men’s side, six athletes could compete in seven events in Indiana. Senior Brendan Martin leads the group with two qualifying times, as he qualified in both the 5000m and 10,000m runs, with times of 14:09.77 and 29:44.55 respectively. Paul Snyder also qualified in the 5000m with a time of 14:07.81, while sophomore Mike Murphy will take part in the 10,000m, with a qualifying time of 30:01.18. Sophomore Mark Feigen was the highest qualifier for the Lions, as he is sixth in the region in the 1500m run, with a time of 3:43.24. Junior Adam Behnke also qualified in the 1500 with a time of 3:45.88. Senior Matthew Stewart rounded out the qualifiers, as he will compete in the 800m, with a qualifying time of 1:49.70. 

The women’s track & field team once again has the most qualifiers of any team in the Ivy League, with nine athletes and a relay team heading to Bloomington. The 4x400m relay team of Kyra Caldwell, Yamira Bell, Laura Vogel and Sharay Hale qualified with their time of 3:37.50. Hale and Caldwell also qualified individually. Junior Hale qualified in the 400m dash, with the fifth-fastest 400m time in the region, 52.40. And Caldwell made the cut in the 400m hurdles with a time of 59.03. Senior Jacqueline Drouin qualified in two separate events: the 1500m (with a time of 4:20.43) and the 5000m (with a time of 16:30.49). Sophomore Emily Lanois also qualified in the 5000m with a time of 16:32.33. And in the 10,000m, sophomore Noelle Van Rysselberghe qualified with a time of 35:30.67. 

The Lions also had four athletes qualify in field events. Sophomores Uju Ofoche and Dora Vegvari, who went 1-2 in the long jump at the 2011 Ivy League championships, will both be competing in the event at Regionals, while classmate QueenDenise Okeke made it in the triple jump. Junior Monique Roberts rounded out the group, as she qualified to compete in the high jump. 

A complete list of qualifiers is posted here. A schedule of events Columbia athletes will be competing in is listed below. A complete schedule and live results will be available here once competition begins.

Thursday, May 26
1:00pm — Women’s Long Jump  (qualifying)
3:30pm — Women’s 400m Hurdles (first round)
4:30pm — Women’s 1500m (first round)
5:00pm — Men’s 1500m (first round)
6:30pm — Women’s 400m (first round)
8:00pm — Men’s 800m (first round)
8:30pm — Women’s 10,000m (semifinal)
9:15pm — Men’s 10,000m (semifinal)

Friday, May 27
1:00pm — Women’s Triple Jump (qualifying)
1:00pm — Women’s High Jump (qualifying)
5:30pm — Women’s 400m (quarterfinal)
6:45pm — Men’s 800m (quarterfinal)
7:00pm — Women’s 400m Hurdles (quarterfinal)

Saturday, May 28
6:30pm — Women’s 1500m (quarterfinal)
6:45pm — Men’s 1500m (quarterfinal)
8:05pm — Women’s 5000m (semifinal)
8:45pm — Men’s 5000m (semifinal)
9:25pm — Women’s 4 x 400m (quarterfinal)