NCAA Announces Prelims Field; Guins Well Represented With Nine Qualifiers

NCAA Announces Prelims Field; Guins Well Represented With Nine Qualifiers

The Youngstown State track and field programs will be sending nine athletes to the NCAA Preliminary Round on May 29-31 in Jacksonville, Fla. The fields for the two preliminary rounds were announced on Thursday.

The Penguins who qualified are Bobby Grace, John Seaver, Austin McLean, Eric Rupe, Conner Neu, Jay Jakovina, Arnaldo Morales, Jessica Parham and Samantha Hamilton

The University of North Florida will serve as the host institution at Hodges Stadium.

Grace and Seaver will compete in the shot put on Thursday, May 29 at 4 p.m., Parham will throw the javelin on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. and Hamilton will run in the 10,000-meter run on Thursday at 9:40 p.m.

Neu will compete in the hammer throw on Friday, May 30 at 10 a.m. while McLean and Rupe will run in the steeplechase at 8:50 p.m. on Friday. Jakovina and Morales will compete in the high jump at 5 p.m. on Saturday.

In the steeplechase, McLean and Rupe have both qualified in the middle of the pack. McLean posted a season-best time of 8:57.59 which came at the Virginia Challenge on May 9 while Rupe had a time of 8:57.62 in the race on May 16 at the Louisville Twilight. The duo has the 27th and 28th-best times entering the meet.

Jakovina and Morales both cleared solid heights that advanced them to the meet. Jakovina cleared a height of 2.10 meters at the Raleigh Relays in March while Morales had a 2.09m on May 2 at the Horizon League Championships. Jakovina has the 31st-best mark in the event while Morales is 42nd.

Grace, an All-American during the Indoor Track and Field Championships, enters the meet ranked ninth in the shot put with a season-best throw of 19.56 meters on April 18 at the Jesse Owens Classic. Seaver sits in 45th at 17.59 meters with an outdoor best at the Horizon League Championships on May 2.

Neu is currently 10th in the hammer throw with a season-long toss of 65.26 meters on May 9 at the Campbell Wright Open hosted by Akron. 

Parham narrowly made the field in the javelin with a best toss of 44.75 meters which came at the Horizon League meet on May 2.

Hamilton qualified in the 10,000-meter run with a best time of 34:51.17 at the NCC Gregory Final Qualifier on May 15. She had the 45th-best time among the group.

The previous high for Penguins to advance to the NCAA Prelims was four in 2012 when Grace, Hamilton, Kaitlyn Griffith and Alison Roth all competed. YSU had seven individuals and two relays participate in the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Regionals in 2006. Since 2003, YSU has had 26 athletes compete in 41 events at NCAA Outdoor competitions.

The top-12 finishers from each event advance to the NCAA Championships. The NCAA Championships are set for June 11-14 at the University of Oregon in Eugene.