Hill Leads 4 More NCAA Championship Qualifiers for Wolfpack T&F
May 26, 2012
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Four more NC State athletes, including All-American junior Ryan Hill, earned their way to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in two weeks by finishing in the top 12 on the final day of the NCAA East Regional Preliminaries at North Florida’s Hodges Stadium.
Hill, a native of Hickory, N.C., has now qualified for the outdoor championships in each of his three years with the Wolfpack, though the first two years were in the men’s 5,000 meters. Saturday, he finished second in the men’s 1,500 meters to earn a trip to the outdoor championships, which will be held June 6-9 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa.
Hill also ran in the 5,000 meters following his qualifying performance in the 1,500, but did not finish among the top 12 in his second race of the day.
“Ryan is truly one of the best runners in the country and he proved it again today,” said long-time Wolfpack head coach Rollie Geiger. “He ran three times in three days and made it back to the NCAA Championships.”
Hill, who broke his own school record in the 1,500 meters earlier this year, posted a time of 3:45.62 to finish just behind Indiana’s Andrew Bayer.
Even with Hill’s absence in the 5,000 meters, the Wolfpack will be represented, as seniors Bobby Moldovan and Sandy Roberts both qualified for the championship meet in the event. Moldovan was fifth overall with a time of 14:03.05 to earn his first trip to the outdoor championships.
Roberts, who was 16th overall, earned his spot by finishing fifth in the first heat with a time of 14:17.94. The top five times in each heat, plus the two next best scores all advanced to the championships.
“What a great thing for both of those guys, who have worked so hard for five years to put themselves in this position,” Geiger said. “To see the joy they experienced after that race was amazing.”
Hill and sophomore Andrew Colley, who both qualified for the championships last year, also participated in Saturday’s 5,000 meters, but did not advance.
Junior All-ACC jumper Kris Kornegay-Gober finished 11th in the men’s high jump, earning his first trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships with the last of his three jumps at 7-feet, 2 1/4-inches. He and Hill both qualified for the indoor championships in March in Nampa, Idaho.
In all, the Wolfpack earned a total of nine entries for the outdoor championships, five men’s entries and four women’s.
“That’s a great number for us, but as a coach you are always thinking about the ones who were close to making it and you hurt for them,” Geiger said. “Now, though, we’ll turn our attention to competing at a high level at the championships with those who qualified and see how many points they can score for our teams.”
Junior Andie Cozzarelli, who qualified for the women’s 10,000 meters on Thursday, ran in the women’s 5,000 meters Saturday evening and finished 24th overall with a time of 16:46.66. Juniors Karimah Sheperd and Jazueline Daniels also competed on Saturday in the women’s triple jump.
Others who qualified in the first two days of the regional meet include redshirt freshman Tremanisha Taylor (women’s shot put, discus), senior Brittany Hampton (women’s discus), sophomore Nathaniel Williams (men’s discus).
“We had some really nice performances this weekend,” Geiger said. “Trem’s performance – to qualify for two events as a redshirt freshman – was huge. She’s such a great competitor when she steps in the circle.
“We believe she will do well at the national meet.”
NCAA East Regional Preliminary
Men’s 1,500 meters
Men’s 5,000 meters
Women’s 5,000 meters
Men’s high jump
Women’s triple jump