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(L-R) NCAA Competitors Nadia Eke, Kyle Merber and Harry McFann
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics

2012 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships Preview

NCAA Championships Central
Live Stats | Schedule of Events | Men's Start List | Women's Start List
***COLUMBIA TRACK & FIELD PDF GUIDE FOR NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS***

NEW YORK – Columbia’s Nadia Eke, Harry McFann and Kyle Merber will look to shine this week on collegiate track & field’s most prominent stage, the 2012 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships held June 6-9 at Drake Stadium.

This year’s national championships in Des Moines, Iowa, will be streamed live. Wednesday’s events will be available via NCAA.com. Events on Thursday through Saturday will be on ESPN3.com. Saturday’s events will also be televised on ESPNU in a window beginning at 12 p.m. (E.T.).

Eke (women’s triple jump), McFann (men’s 800m) and Merber (men’s 1,500m) all advanced to the NCAA championship meet in their respective events after dominant showings at the 2012 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships East Preliminary Round held May 24-26 at North Florida’s Hodges Stadium. Columbia sent a remarkable 21 student-athletes to the NCAA East Prelims.

As a first-year, Eke has quickly established herself as one of the top triple jumpers in the nation. At the NCAA East Prelims, she set a Columbia record on her first jump, clearing 13.32m (43’8.5”). That leap smashed the previous school record of 12.81m she set in early April at the Princeton Sam Howell Invitational and it ranked fourth among the 48 jumpers at the NCAA East Prelims. Her 13.32m qualifying distance ranks sixth in the 24-athlete field in Saturday’s triple jump trials.

McFann ran two great 800m races at the NCAA East Prelims to earn his spot at this week’s national championship meet. In the first round, the sophomore took second place in Heat 2 with a time of 1:50.14, moving to the top three halfway through the race and staying at the front of the pack until the end. In the quarterfinals, McFann took second place in Heat 2 with a time of 1:48.78. After getting caught in the middle of the pack and getting pushed back to sixth with 200m to go, McFann kicked into high gear to come back for a strong finish. McFann’s fastest 800m time is the 1:48.14 he clocked at the Swarthmore College Last Chance Meet. His 1:48.78 qualifying time ranks 17th in the 24-athlete field in Wednesday’s semifinals.

On Monday, Merber was named the USTFCCCA's 2012 Northeast Region Men's Track Athlete of the Year. He is making his second career appearance at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. As a sophomore in 2010, he competed in the 1,500m and finished 10th overall. Merber punched his ticket to this year’s national championship after two good races at the NCAA East Prelims. In the first round, the senior stayed in the middle of the pack before making a move halfway through the race to win Heat 1 with a time of 4:05.13. Merber’s 1,500m quarterfinal race was much more challenging as he got boxed into the back of pack early. He maneuvered his way out of the jam, led at the 1,100m mark and ended up taking third in Heat 1 with a time of 3:45.89. That qualifying time ranks 11th among the 24-athlete field in Thursday’s semifinals.

On May 14, Merber set a new American collegiate record in the 1,500m with a time of 3:35.59 at the Swarthmore College Last Chance Meet. That time was the second-fastest collegiate time ever, the second-fastest in the U.S. in 2012 and the 15th-fastest in the world in 2012. That time was also recorded after the NCAA East Prelims field was set.

Below is a brief schedule for the NCAA Championships, higlighting when Eke, McFann and Merber will be in action. Please note that all times listed have been converted to Eastern Time. Des Moines, Iowa, is in the Central Time zone.

Wed., June 6
Time (ET) Event Round Columbia Entry Heat/Flight Qual. Mark/Rank
7:30 p.m. Men's 800m Semifinal Harry McFann 2 1:48.78/17th
           
Thurs., June 7
Time (ET) Event Round Columbia Entry Heat/Flight Qual. Mark/Rank
7:15 p.m. Men's 1,500m Semifinal Kyle Merber 1 3:45.89/11th
           
Fri., June 8
Time (ET) Event Round Columbia Entry Heat/Flight Qual. Mark/Rank
7:10 p.m. Men's 800m Final -- -- --
           
Sat., June 9
Time (ET) Event Round Columbia Entry Heat/Flight Qual. Mark/Rank
11 a.m. Women's Triple Jump Trials/Final Nadia Eke 2 13.32m/6th
12:17 p.m. Men's 1,500m Final -- -- --

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