May 3, 2013
Cullowhee, N.C. - On the heels of sweeping both of the 2013 Southern Conference Outdoor Championships, members of the Western Carolina men's and women's track & field teams continue to vie for spots in the NCAA East Regional.
The NCAA sponsors two regional meets - East and West - that feed into the 2013 NCAA National Championship June 5-8, 2013 in Eugene, Oregon. Qualification to the preliminary competition of the championships is based on the descending-order list for the season, segregated by east and west sites. For each individual event (20 for each gender) contested at each of the preliminary championships competition sites, the top 48 declared student-athletes will be accepted into the competition. For each relay event contested at each of the preliminary championships competition sites, the top 24 declared relay teams will be accepted into the competition. The stated maximums are absolute and will not be extended as a result of ties.
WCU looks to qualify for the NCAA Division I Track & Field East Preliminary Round which will be held Thursday, May 23 through Saturday, May 25 at the Irwin Belk Track at Aggie Stadium, hosted by North Carolina A&T in Greensboro.
The list of student-athletes, by event, who have been accepted to compete in each preliminary championships competition, plus those who have been accepted to compete in the heptathlon or decathlon at the final championships competition, will be announced on Thursday, May 16.
Over the next two weekends, Western Carolina is sending student-athletes that are in contention for qualifying for the East regional meet to additional events to try and improve upon their marks. WCU student athletes are in action this weekend at the Bob Pollock Invitational in Clemson, S.C., with plans to send individuals to the Georgia Tech Invitational May 10-11 and the North Carolina A&T Qualifier in Greensboro on May 12.
According to the latest NCAA Division I National Team Computer Rankings published on April 30 by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), WCU's had one individual currently qualified inside the top 48. Freshman sprinter Tayla Carter on the women's side ranked 43rd in the 100-meter dash, clocking a time of 11.52 at the Georgia Relays back in mid-March. Carter is coming off a sixth-place showing at the prestigious Penn Relays in the same event, running 11.63.
WCU head coach Danny Williamson is hopeful that others will move into the rankings and qualify for the regional event in the coming weeks. SoCon individual event champion Alisha Bradshaw set a school record in her recent participation in the Penn Relays, throwing a distance of 157-1 while also posting a personal record in the shot put, finishing eighth overall. Xaveria Bass posted a personal best in the high jump, clearing 5-7 ¾ at the Penn Relays to finish sixth.
Williamson also mentioned the potential for Mara Smith to attempt to qualify in a distance event.
On the men's side, Williamson is hopeful for the relay teams - including the 4x400-meter foursome which passed the baton in a season-best 3:12.19 at the Penn Relays. Also Bob McNeil finished ninth in the men's long jump competition and looks to make improvements to advance into the top 48 in the region.