Hill, Iyevbele Set School Records at Last Chance Qualifier
May 13, 2012
RALEIGH, N.C. – Both junior Ryan Hill and Kenyetta Iyevbele of NC State broke their own school records and posted top 10 fastest times in the nation in their events on Sunday evening at the Wolfpack Last Chance Qualifier at Paul Derr Track.
On a cool, rainy night, the two All-Americans showed they are gearing up for the postseason, which begins in two weeks at the NCAA Regional preliminaries in Jacksonville, Fla.
“We had some really good performances, not just by Hill and Iyevbele, but by a lot of our younger runners who we are redshirting this season,” said NC State head coach Rollie Geiger. “Both Ryan and Kenyetta came out strong and didn’t let the rain affect them.”
Hill, an indoor All-American earlier this season in the 3,000 meters, broke the 1,500-meter record he set two years ago as a redshirt freshman, posting a time of 3:39.58. That ranks as the sixth-fastest time in the nation this year and breaks the Derr Track record set in 1987 by former world champion Abdi Bile.
Iyevbele, a first-team All-American in the women’s 800 meters last season, won her event with a time of 2:03.88, lowering by nearly a second the mark she set last year at the NCAA Championship semifinals in Des Moines, Iowa.
Like last year, when she qualified for the NCAA Regional preliminaries long after the ACC Championships, Iyevbele is making a strong push at the end of the outdoor season. After advancing at the regional in Columbus, Ohio, Iyevbele went on to make the finals at the NCAA Championships, win the US Junior National Championship and the Pan Am Junior Championship.
“This was a good time for me,” Iyevbele said. “I feel like I'm so far ahead of where I was last year. My times are improving. My time was really fast, but I think I am ready to go even faster.
“I’m getting up there where I want to be, keeping up with the fastest runners in the nation. I want to be a factor in the regionals and at the NCAAs.”
Sunday’s time was more than 1.5 seconds faster than her best time this season, which she ran at the ACC Championships in Charlottesville, Va., late last month.
Iyevbele just missed the Derr Track record of 2:03.69, set by former Jamaican Olympian Charmaine Howell in 2000, just before the Athens Olympics.
It was a big weekend for Hill, a redshirt junior from Hickory, N.C. He received his degree in sport management on Saturday during commencement exercises at PNC Arena and spent the rest of Mother’s Day weekend with his family before setting the record.
While he will concentrate on the 1,500 meters the rest of the season, he also has a qualifying time for the 5,000 meters, for which he qualified for the NCAA Championships the last two years.
“It’s pretty cool to set the school record here on our track,” said Hill, who had only run one race at Derr Track in his career prior to Sunday. “But it’s mentally easier when you are running in a big race. I think I can go much lower in a bigger race.”
Sunday was the NCAA’s final day of competition in the regular season prior to the NCAA Regional preliminaries May 24-26 in Jacksonville, Fla. Regional qualifiers will be declared and announced later this week.
Other top performances by the Wolfpack on Sunday included women’s triple jumpers Karimah Shepherd and Jazueline Daniels, who both set personal bests in the event. Shepherd won the event at 41-feet, 3.75-inches and Daniels was second at 41-feet, 2.50-inches, which will likely get her into the NCAA Regional field when announced on Thursday.
Sophomore Nathaniel Williams won the men’s discus with his second-best throw of the season, reaching a mark of 183-feet, 7-inches and redshirt freshman Tremanisha Taylor won both the shot put and the discus. Sophomore Erin Mercer won the women’s 1,500 meters, beating out a strong field of teammates.
The Wolfpack is off next weekend and will send qualifying athletes to the NCAA Regional preliminaries in Jacksonville.
Wolfpack Last Chance Qualifier
Men’s 400 meters
Men’s 800 meters
Women’s 800 meters
Women’s 100 meters
Men’s 200 meters
Women’s 200 meters
Women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase
Men’s 1,500 meters
Women’s 1,500 meters
Men’s hammer throw
Women’s hammer throw
Women’s long jump
Men’s high jump
Women’s high jump
Women’s triple jump
Women’s shot put
Italics denote school record