The University of Arizona Wildcat No. 22 men's and No. 15 women's track and field teams will have a total of 34 entries for the NCAA West Preliminaries next weekend in Fayetteville, Ark. On Thursday, the NCAA announced the top 48 student-athletes in individual events and 24 in relays, that qualified for the meet. The NCAA West Preliminaries is the first round of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The meet is set for May 29-31. The finals of the NCAA Championships will take place June 11-14 in Eugene, Oregon.
On the women's side on the track, senior Germe Poston will compete in the 100 meters and 200 meters. Senior Shapri Romero will run the 200 meters and 400 meters. Senior Meg Bellino is set to compete in the 800-meter race. Redshirt sophomore Kate Penney is entered in the 1,500-meter race. In the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Arizona will be represented by junior Clea Formaz. Senior Elvin Kibet will compete in the 5K and 10K, while junior Molly Callahan will run the 5K and junior Stephanie Bulder will run the 10K. Sophomore Traci-Lynn Hicks will compete in the 100-meter hurdles. Sophomores Nnenya Hailey and Morgan Struble will compete in the 400-meter hurdles. Arizona's women's 4x100-meter relay team and 4x400-meter relay team both qualified as well.
For the women's field events, junior Shakayla McEaddy will compete in the high jump. Senior Julie Labonté will throw the shot put and discus. Senior Omotayo Talabi will be in the shot put competition along with Labonté.
On the men's side in the track events, junior Mohammad Alhasan will run the 100-meter dash. Freshman Miles Parish will compete in the 400-meter sprint. Freshman Collins Kibet is entered in the 800-meter race. Senior Lawi Lalang and junior Sam Macaluso will both run the 1,500-meter race and 5,000-meter race. Junior Kenji Bierig will compete in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
In the men's field events, senior Nick Ross will compete in the high jump and triple jump. Freshman Avery Mickens will represent Arizona in the long jump competition. Redshirt freshman Aaron Castle will throw the shot put. Freshman Gerhard De Beer will throw the discus and redshirt freshman Jordan Young will throw the hammer.
Per the USTFCCCA website: A total of 96 student-athletes (48 East/48 West) in each individual event and 48 relay teams (24 East/24 West) will compete at the two Preliminary sites this weekend based on their schools' geographical location, a total that will be pared down to the final Eugene-bound 24 individuals and relay teams by sundown Saturday.
As a clarification, despite the fact that the prelims and finals take place nearly two weeks apart, they are technically part of the same meet. This means that event victories this weekend should not be counted in overall winning streaks based on event finals — the student-athletes or relay teams would simply be the top seed from their respective prelim at the finals site. However, marks and times recorded at the Prelims are not eligible for NCAA Championships records.
Most individual track events will run four rounds — two at the Prelims and two at the Finals — to whittle the overall field of 96 to the final 24. The steeplechase and the relays will all run one round at the Prelims sites to narrow the field to 24, and then two rounds at the finals site. The 5000 and 10,000 will run two total rounds, one at the two Prelims sites and the second at the Finals site. The number of rounds/participants in rounds varies by event, as does the criteria for advancement, and can be reviewed in detail in the Event by Event Brackets created by the USTFCCCA.
Field events will work in much the same way. The throws and horizontal jumps will each contest both a trials and finals round at both the NCAA Prelims and NCAA Finals, with three attempts for each round. The number of student-athletes who move on from the three-attempt trials to the three-attempt finals round differs between NCAA Prelims and NCAA Finals, and can be reviewed here. Two flights of the high jump and pole vault will be contested at each Prelims site, with one round to be contested at the NCAA Finals.
The decathlon and heptathlon will not be contested at the prelims. The participants for the NCAA Finals have already been determined. For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat men's and women's track and field, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and follow @ArizonaTrack on Twitter.
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