Veterans Stepp & Edgecombe as well as rookies Williams & Squibbs will be in action
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (May 28, 2014) – Following strong performances at the Atlantic Sun Outdoor Championships two weeks ago, four qualifying members of the ETSU track & field program will compete over three days at the NCAA Division I East Region Preliminaries, beginning Thursday, at Hodges Stadium on the University of North Florida campus.
After an outdoor season that featured numerous notable showings by ETSU student-athletes, selected Buccaneers will try their hand against the region’s best at the NCAA Prelims. The qualifying members of the Blue & Gold were ranked among the top-48 declared competitors in each event in the East Region. ETSU will be represented at Regionals by Dede Edgecombe (Spartanburg, S.C.) in the women’s 100 meter hurdles, Brett Squibbs (Rock Hill, S.C.) in the men’s pole vault, Tyler Stepp (Dandridge, Tenn.) in the men’s long jump and Mike Williams (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) in the men’s 400 meter hurdles.
The top-12 finishers in each event at the East Preliminary Rounds will then move on to the NCAA Championships which are hosted by the University of Oregon in Eugene, Ore., June 11-14, at Hayward Field. In Eugene, participants will face fellow competitors from the West Region who advanced in the same manner.
Stepp will be the first of the Bucs to see action at Regionals on Thursday at 2 p.m. in the men’s long jump. The senior qualified for the meet at the A-Sun Championships with a first-place leap of 7.64 meters. This mark ranks as 18th-best in the East Region with the top mark being 7.93 meters. Stepp is no stranger to the big stage after recording a second-place mark of 7.79 meters at Regionals last season to advance to the NCAA Championships in Oregon where he finished ninth overall.
Williams will then follow in competition on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. in the men’s 400 meter hurdles. The quarterfinal in the event will then take place on Friday at 7:30 p.m. for advancing competitors. The freshman qualified for the Prelims at the league Championships with a time of 52.32 which ranks 46th overall in the East Region.
Another veteran of regional competition will be in action on Friday when Edgecombe gears up for the women’s 100 meter hurdles at 5:30 p.m. Quarterfinal races in the event will then occur on Saturday at 7:20 p.m. for those that qualify. The junior speedster qualified for Regionals with an ETSU record time of 13.48 at the University of Tennessee Challenge on May 3 which is ranked 20th-best in the region. Edgecombe has broken her own school record in the 100mH multiple times during this outdoor season and will enter competition in Jacksonville after placing 35th overall in the event last season at the East Prelims.
Rookie pole vaulter Squibbs will be in action at Regionals on Saturday at noon. The frosh qualified for the meet after setting a new ETSU record in the event at the War Eagle Invitational on April 18 with a vault of 5.20 meter which was tops among competitors in the A-Sun and is 25th-best in the East Region. Squibbs will look to continue the momentum following establishing a new conference record of 5.05 meters at the A-Sun Outdoor Championships to take the event crown.
Meet information, schedules, heat sheets, entry lists and tickets for the 2014 NCAA Division I NCAA East Region Preliminaries can be accessed by visiting UNFOspreys.com, while live results can be viewed at FlashResults.com. A complete recap of ETSU’s performances each day will be available at ETSUBucs.com.
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