CCU sends 17 track, field athletes to NCAA Prelims

A total of 17 student-athletes from the Coastal Carolina men’s and women’s track and field teams will head to the NCAA East Preliminary Round, which will be contested this Thursday through Saturday at North Carolina A&T’s Irwin Belk Track inside of Aggie Stadium in Greensboro, N.C.

All 17 student-athletes will be in search of their first career trip to the NCAA national meet.

Freshman Jessica Gelibert will be the first Chant in action as she takes the track at 4:30 p.m. in the women’s 400m hurdles. She enters the NCAA Preliminary Round as the seventh seed. Her time of 57.86 at the Big South Championships ranks as the second fastest freshman time this season in the entire NCAA. She will run in heat six of the preliminaries against runners from Indiana State, UAB, Penn State, Virginia Tech, Memphis, Pittsburgh and Duquesne. She has the second-fastest qualifying time of the heat behind Stacia Weatherford, a senior from Indiana State. There are six heats in the first round and they advance the top three from each heat plus the next six times to the quarterfinals on Friday at 7:35 p.m. They advance the top three from each quarterfinal, plus the next best three times to the NCAA national meet which will take place June 5-8 in Eugene, Ore.

Next in action will be junior Jackson Corcoran and freshman Jordan Entwistle who qualified 17th and 30th, respectively, in the javelin. Corcoran and Entwistle will begin their competition at noon on Friday. Corcoran picked up his qualifying distance of 68.17 meters at the Shamrock Invitational while Entwistle’s distance of 65.78 meters was achieved just this past week at the Georgia Tech Invitational. Corcoran and Entwistle will both be competing in flight two of three. The top 16 competitors will advance to the final which will be held on Friday as well. Out of the 16, the top-12 will advance to the NCAA national meet.

Sophomore Christina Davis, who will enter as the 48th seed in the women’s 100m hurdles, will also be in action on Friday at 5 p.m. Her time of 13.78 at the Big South Championships earned her the final slot in the event. She will compete in the sixth heat and the 100m hurdles will use the same guidelines as the 400m hurdles with the top three from each heat and the next best six times advancing to the quarterfinals on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. In Davis’ heat are competitors from Clemson, Syracuse, Michigan, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, Florida and Vanderbilt.

Senior Erica Peake, who is making her second NCAA Preliminary Round (formerly known as the NCAA First and Second Rounds) appearance in the 200m, will be the final Chant in action on Friday as she takes the track at 8 p.m. Peake enters the meet as the fifth seed after running a 23.09 200m at the Big South Championships. Peake entered last year’s NCAA Preliminary Round as the 29th seed and ended up finishing 14th overall and just missed a trip to the NCAA Championship by two spots. Peake will compete in the third heat and she boasts the top qualifying time in the heat. The 200m will use the same guidelines as the other sprinting events with the top three from each heat and the next best six times advancing to the quarterfinals on Saturday at 7:35 p.m. Peake will compete against student-athletes from Western Carolina, Indiana, Ohio State, Hampton, Coppin State, Kennesaw State and Florida A&M in the third heat.

Sophomore Reggie Nelson competes at 6 p.m. on Saturday as the 43rd seed in the men’s high jump with a qualifying height of 2.09 meters, which he passed at the Big South Championships. Nelson will compete in flight one out of two. The top 12 overall will advance the NCAA national meet.

Also competing at 6 p.m. on Saturday is the women’s 4×100 relay team consisting of Peake, sophomore Symphony Thompson, freshman Teka Simpson and sophomore Qwontajah Thompson. The team heads to Greensboro as the ninth seed with a time of 44.90, achieved at the Georgia Tech Invitational. Sophomore Ruby Durham will serve as the alternate for the 4×100 team. The team will compete in heat one of three against Michigan, Georgia, Morgan State, LSU, Indiana State, McNeese State and Rutgers. The top three from each heat plus the next three best times will advance to the NCAA national meet. The Chants are seeded third in their heat behind LSU and Georgia.

The women’s 4x400m relay team consisting of Gelibert, Q. Thompson, Simpson and Peake will compete at 9:25 p.m. on Saturday. The team qualified fifth overall with a time of 3:34.23, which was achieved at the historic Penn Relays. Sophomore Camille Hurley and freshman Amirah Al-Bayyinah will serve as alternates for the 4x400m team. CCU will compete in heat one of three against Michigan State, Mississippi State, Memphis, Marshall, LSU, St. John’s and Duke. The top three from each heat plus the next three best times will advance to the NCAA national meet. The Chants are seeded second in their heat behind LSU.

There are 23 women’s teams combined in both the East and West that have qualified for both relays (4×100 and 4×400) for the Preliminary Rounds. Twenty of the 23 teams are BCS schools while 21 of the 23 are FBS-level schools. CCU and North Dakota State are the only two non-FBS teams and Coastal Carolina is the only non-FBS school in the East Preliminary Round to qualify both relays while NDSU will compete in the west.

The final Chants to compete will be the men’s 4×400 team consisting of sophomore DeAndra Lipscomb, freshman Corey Hackett-Greene, freshman Matthew Lights and freshman Deion Wellington. The 4×400 team will take to the track at 9:45 p.m. on Saturday. The group posted a time of 3:09.98 at the historic Penn Relays to qualify 21st. Junior Russel Kanner will serve as the alternate. The men will compete in heat two of three against Princeton, LSU, Mississippi State, Middle Tennessee State, Purdue, George Mason and South Carolina. The top three from each heat plus the next three best times will advance to the NCAA national meet.

Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. will host the 2013 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, June 5-8. The top 12 finishers in each event at the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet will advance to Eugene. They will be joined in Eugene by 12 qualifiers per event from the NCAA Division I West Preliminary Round meet, which takes place in Austin, Texas.

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