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Cullowhee, N.C. – Five Western Carolina track & field student-athletes venture to Hodges Stadium on the campus of the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Fla. for the three-day NCAA East Preliminaries beginning Thursday.

“We’re super excited about the upcoming NCAA regional championships,” head coach Jesse Norman stated. “I’m excited for the group that we’ve brought as it is a younger group. This will help build their confidence for next year and the push them to qualify for the national championships down the road.”

Freshman Trini Feggett opens the meet for the Catamounts in the men’s long jump competition at 3:30 p.m. Thursday. Feggett’s qualifying mark of 7.50 meters (24’7.5”) came at the Catamount Classic on April 12. The Southern Conference champion in her event, junior Makaila McIntyre is slated to compete in the women’s long jump at 6:45 p.m. She qualified for the East Preliminary with her leap of 6.14 meters (21’1.75”).  Junior Devaniel Dale will run in the first round of the men’s 400-meter dash Thursday at 7:45 p.m. Dale was the SoCon champion in the 400-meter dash with a winning time of 46.55. On Friday, Dale returns to action in the men’s 200-meter dash at 7:55 p.m. The Salisbury, N.C. native is the SoCon champion in the event with a quick time of 20.86. Depending on the results of Friday’s 400-meter first round, Dale could also compete in the quarterfinals at 5:45 p.m.

Saturday will see two Catamounts in action in field events. Dakota Oxendine’s freshman year included a SoCon individual title in the men’s high jump, clearing 2.12 meters (6’11.5”). The men’s high jump is scheduled for 4 p.m. Junior Dijoun Huitt qualified for the East Preliminary meet for the second consecutive year in the triple jump thanks to his mark of 15.42 meters (50’7.25”). Huitt is scheduled to compete at 6:30 p.m. On the track, Dale could also run for a third straight day as the quarterfinals for the men’s 200-meter dash take place at 7:50 p.m.

The NCAA East Preliminaries will be streamed live on pay-per-view through FloTrack. Live results will be available via a link on www.catamountsports.com.

Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas will serve as the host site for the NCAA Track & Field Championships on June 5-8. The top 12 finishers in each event at the East Preliminary will advance to the championships and will be joined by the top 12 finishers in those same events from the West Preliminary.

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