Pirates Kick Off NCAA East Preliminary Action Thursday
May 23, 2012
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A program single-season-record 21 East Carolina track and field athletes will start their journeys toward qualification for the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships Thursday as action at the NCAA East Preliminary Round begins on the campus of the University of North Florida. The meet is slated for May 24-26 at Hodges Stadium.
The men's javelin is the first event of the preliminary and will begin at 11 a.m. ET. The Pirates have two entrants junior Matthew McConaughey and senior Sam Barnhardt. McConaughey took second at the C-USA Outdoor Championships in the javelin with a mark of 67.95 meters and is currently ranked 34th in the nation. Barnhardt is participating in his first career NCAA event.
Another silver medalist at the league outdoor meet, junior Montrell Morrow, will take his turn in the discus at 1 p.m., while junior Rebecca Cooper and sophomore Krista Vincent will challenge the javelin field at 4:30. Rounding out the ECU field contingent for Thursday's schedule is junior Tiffany Harris who is in the first flight of the long jump slated to begin at 5:30.
C-USA Outdoor champion and junior Quinton Harley takes to the track at 4:30 for the 400-meter hurdles and will compete in heat five of six. Later in the evening, sophomore Jakub Trzasalski makes his career NCAA debut in the 800-meter run which is scheduled for 8:10.
National title contender and three-time defending Conference USA outdoor high jump champion, junior Tynita Butts, will attempt to qualify for the national finals Friday at 5:00 p.m. The three-time All-America performer is currently ranked second in the NCAA with a program-record mark of 1.87 meters.
Highlighting Saturday's action is senior Brittany Copeland who will compete in the 5,000-meter run. Her school-record and personal-best time of 16:09.67 was at one time the fastest of all NCAA runners this season. Copeland is 20th nationally entering the preliminary after a fourth-place finish at the C-USA Outdoor Championships.
The 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships are scheduled for June 6-9 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa.Thursday's Schedule of Events