NEW YORK – Next weekend, 14 members of the Columbia track and field team will compete at the 2014 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships East Preliminary Round. From Thursday, May 29 – Saturday, May 31, these select number of Columbia student-athletes will look to punch their ticket to the national championships against the best in the east region at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.
The Lions had eight men and six women earn spots at this year's NCAA Regional. The three days of competition will take place at Hodges Stadium and features the top-48 athletes in each event. Qualifying teams and individuals will advance to the 2014 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore., on June 11-14, 2014.
All meet tickets for the 2014 NCAA Division I Track and Field East Preliminary Round are now on sale. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the UNF Arena ticket office, Online, or by phone at 904-620-BIRD (2473). On the day of competition, tickets will be available at the gate one hour prior to the event.
THE COLUMBIA MEN
With NCAA Qualifiers in four distance events, including the 800m, 1,500m, 5,000m and 10,000m, Columbia continues to be one of the best in the region. The Lions have a tandem of runners in three of the five competing events for a total of eight individual qualifiers.
In the 800m run, Harrison McFann will return for the third consecutive year. The Ivy League Champion has put together an impressive senior campaign including an 800m program- record setting relay leg run at the Penn Relays (1:46.93). He also had an event season-best run of 1:47.91 at the George Mason Spring Invitational. McFann’s qualifying time of 1:47.91 stands 11th overall.
Last season, the Illinois native advanced to the NCAA Championships to earn second team All-America honors. McFann will be joined by fellow senior Brendon Fish in the 800m who posted a top-25 overall time of 1:48,79 in a runner-up performance at the Princeton Elite Meet.
John Gregorek , one of the most versatile Columbia runners, will compete in the men’s 1500m. Gregorek is coming off a runner-up Ivy League Championship performance and holds a top-10 time of 3:43.0 in a runner-up finish at the George Mason Spring Invitational. The senior will be joined by teammate Tim Cousins who posted a qualifying time of 3:45.49 at the Princeton Elite Meet, a career-best run.
In his first-year, Jack Boyle will enter the east regional in the 10,000m run. Boyle clocked in a with runner-up time of 29:35.83 in the college heat at Penn Relays for the 29th overall time. Senior Jacob Sienko will also race in the event after a qualifying time of 29:38.94 at the Mt. SAC Relays.
After crossing the finish line in a time of 14:09.71 at the Stanford Invitational, Daniel Everett earned his spot in the 5,000m run for the second straight season. The second team All-Ivy League honoree will look to better his honorable mention All-America journey in the event in 2013. Teammate Byron Jones just barely missed the cut with a 49th overall time of 14:16.67 posted at the Penn Relays.
On the field, Duncan Dickerson will represent the Lions in the men's hammer throw after a program-record setting performance last weekend. Dickerson threw for a Columbia record measure of 62.75m at the ECAC/IC4A Championships for a top-25 overall mark.
Check out the Columbia men's schedule below:
|5/29||5:30 p.m.||1,500m||First Round||3:43.05 (9th)
|5/29||8:10 p.m.||800m||First Round||
|5/30||10:00 a.m.||Hammer Throw||First Round||Duncan Dickerson||62.75m (22nd)|
THE COLUMBIA WOMEN
Behind one of the top five regional performances this season, Waverly Neer will enter the 5,000m for the second straigh yeart. Neer set a new Columbia record with a time 15:37.85 at the Stanford Invitational and is coming off a second team All-Ivy League performance in the event. In 2013, Neer advanced to the NCAA Championships to earn second team All-America honors. The junior will be joined by senior Caroline Williams who also earned her spot at the Stanford Invitational with a top-30 regional time of 16:14.20.
For the third straight season, Nadia Eke continues to stand among the regions elite in the women's triple jump. The reigning Ivy League champions had a season-best leap of 12.92 at Heps for a top-25 regional measure. In 2012, the sophomore had a sensational record-setting showing at the East Regional by clearing a Columbia record 13.32m. She went on to place eighth in the triple jump finals to earn USTFCCCA First-Team All-America honors in her rookie campaign.
Trina Bills will race in the women’s 800m run for the second consecutive year. The senior set a program-record time of 2:06.74 in a victory at the George Mason Spring Invitational, which stands as a top-25 performances in the region and is coming off a second team All-Ivy League performance.
In the 1,500m run, Olivia Sadler will get her chance at an NCAA Championship appearance in just her sophomore season. Sadler posted a top-40 time of 4:22.55 in a runner-up finish at the Princeton Elite Meet. Teammate Aryn Foland just barely missed the top 48 with a 49thoverall time of 4:25.02, a personal-best record.
Marvellous Iheukwumere earned a spot in the east regional women’s 100m for the first time in her career to represent Columbia in the sprints. The decorated senior is a two-time 200m competitor, but with a program-record tying run of 11.63 set in the preliminaries of the Ivy League Championships, she will take her mark in the 100m.
Check out the Columbia women's schedule below:
|5/29||6:00 p.m.||1,500m||First Round||Olivia Sadler||4:22.55 (32nd)|
|5/29||6:55 p.m.||100m||First Round||Marvellous Iheukwumere||11.63 (42nd)|
|5/29||8:35 p.m.||800m||First Round||Trina Bills||2:06.74 (25th)|
|5/31||4:00 p.m.||Triple Jump||First Round||Nadia Eke||12.92m (22nd)|