Wolfpack Track & Field Earns 26 entries at NCAA East Regional preliminaries
May 17, 2012
RALEIGH, N.C. - The NC State men's and women's track and field earned 26 entries into next week's NCAA East Regional preliminaries in Jacksonville, Fla., the NCAA announced on Thursday afternoon.
"It's a large number of individual entries we have this year," said long-time head coach Rollie Geiger. "Every year, we go into the season with the same goal: To score well at the ACC Championships and advance as many people as we can to the NCAA Championships.
"This is a good first step to getting a lot of people to the NCAAs."
The top 48 times and distances in both of two regions qualify to participate at the two preliminary meets. The East regional, hosted by the University of North Florida, will run from Thursday through Saturday next week at Jacksonville's Hodges Stadium. The top 12 finishers in each of the individual events will advance to the NCAA Championships at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa, from June 6-9.
Four of the five runners who advanced to last year's NCAA Championships lead this year's entries for the Wolfpack, including All-Americans Kenyetta Iyevbele and Andie Cozzarelli. Iyevbele was first-team All-American in the 800 meters, while Cozzarelli was a second-team selection in the 10,000 meters. Both junior Ryan Hill and sophomore Andrew Colley were honorable mention All-Americans in the 5,000 meters, while Hill was a first-time All-American earlier this season in the 3,000 meters at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Cozzarelli and Hill both qualified in two events, as did junior jumper Karimah Shepherd. Cozzarelli is qualified in the 5,000 meters and the 10,000 meters. Hill is qualified in the 5,000 meters again and in the 1,500 meters. He owns the NC State record in both events.
For the Wolfpack women, Iyevbele will look to repeat her All-America performance from last year, when she advanced from the regionals and finished seventh at the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 800 meters. Teammate Tiayonna Blackmon will also compete in the 800 meters.
Shepherd will compete in both the women's long jump and the triple jump. Junior teammate Jazueline Daniels also qualified in the triple jump. Sophomore Lacey Shuman will compete in the high jump. Cozzarelli will be joined in the distance events by freshman Joanna Thompson, who qualified for the 10,000 meters and junior Erin Mercer and sophomore Samantha Norman, who both qualified in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase.
NC State's 2012 NCAA East Regional Preliminaries qualifiers