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Stepp qualifies for NCAA Championships at East Regional
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Senior posts 7.54 meters mark to place eighth overall in men’s long jump; Williams finishes 31st overall in men’s 400mH with 52.42 time
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (May 29, 2014) – With two ETSU competitors in action Thursday at the NCAA Division I East Region Preliminaries at Hodges Stadium on the University of North Florida campus, senior jumper Tyler Stepp (Dandridge, Tenn.) had a standout performance in the men’s long jump with a leap of 7.54 meters to qualify for the NCAA Championships in two weeks, while freshman sprinter Mike Williams (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) placed 31st overall in the men’s 400 meter hurdles with a time of 52.42.
The men’s long jump had a scheduled 2 p.m. start time, but inclement weather in the Jacksonville area pushed back the launch to later in the afternoon. With a full field of competition featuring nearly 50 jumpers, Stepp stood out on his third jump of the day with a mark of 7.54 meters in the third flight of the event. This mark was the third-best in flight three and ultimately was eighth-best overall which placed Stepp among the top-12 qualifiers and allows him to move on to the NCAA Championships, June 11 – 14, at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon on the University of Oregon campus. 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.
Also on Thursday afternoon, the men’s 400mH got underway with 48 total competitors. Rookie runner Williams was in action in the third of six heats and finished seven out of eight in the heat with a time of 52.42. With the top-24 times advancing to Friday’s quarterfinals, Williams placed 31st overall, but only missed out on qualifying by approximately three tenths of a second and was one of six freshmen to place among the top-30 in the event.
The Bucs will be back in action on Friday when Dede Edgecombe (Spartanburg, S.C.) 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 Brett Squibbs (Rock Hill, S.C.) will compete 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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