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May 16, 2019 at 2:51 pm #90912
Four Selected for NCAA East Preliminary Round
Four members of the West Virginia University track and field team have qualified for the 2019 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field East Preliminary Round, from May 23-25, in Jacksonville, Florida.
Redshirt seniors Madelin Gardner (pole vault) and Shamoya McNeil (triple jump), redshirt junior Olivia Hill (10,000 meters) and redshirt freshman Hayley Jackson (1,500 meters) all ranked in the top 48 of the NCAA East Region in their respective events.
McNeil is set to make her fourth career appearance at the East Prelims, while Gardner will compete at the event for the third consecutive season. Hill also qualified for the meet last season, while Jackson will make her regional debut.
Gardner enters the event ranked No. 2 in the region and No. 5 nationally in the pole vault with a top mark of 4.47 meters (14 feet, 8 inches) at the Virginia Challenge, on April 20, in Charlottesville, Virginia. The mark was good for an outdoor school record and the highest regular-season jump in the Big 12 since 2014.
The three-time All-American is coming off a second-place, silver-medal performance at the 2019 Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championship, on May 11, in Norman, Oklahoma. The Williamstown, West Virginia, native jumped 4.27 meters (14 feet) at the conference meet.
McNeil ranks No. 26 in the NCAA East Region in the triple jump. The 2017 All-America Third Team selection qualified for this year’s regional meet after recording a season-best mark of 12.79 meters (41 meet, 11.5 inches) at the State Farm Friends of Track and Field Mountaineer Showcase, on April 27, in Morgantown.
The Portland, Jamaica, native previously competed at the NCAA East Prelims in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Hill ran a career-best time of 34:28.43 in the 10,000 meters at the Stanford Invitational, on March 29, in Stanford, California, good for No. 40 in the region. Last season, the Scott Depot, West Virginia, native finished 29th in the event at the East Prelims, crossing the finish line in 35:51.37.
Last week, Hill earned a fourth-place finish and a spot on the podium in the 10,000 meters at the Big 12 Championship in a time of 35:06.32.
Following her breakthrough weekend at the conference meet, Jackson is set to compete in the 1,500 meters in Jacksonville. The Lusby, Maryland, native tallied a career-best 4:19.69 in the event final at the Big 12 Championship on May 12, earning a second-place finish. The time ranks No. 20 in the region entering the NCAA East Preliminary Round.
Additionally, Jackson ranks No. 5 nationally among freshmen in the 1,500 meters. In all, she recorded four All-Big 12 honors in 2018-19 (cross country, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field).
This year’s NCAA East Preliminary Round is hosted by North Florida and the Jacksonville Sports Authority. The three-day competition will take place at UNF’s Hodges Stadium.
For each individual event contested at each of the preliminary sites, the top-48 declared student-athletes were accepted into the competition. For each relay event, the top-24 declared relay teams were accepted into the competition. Combined events (heptathlon and decathlon) are not contested at the preliminary sites.
Qualifiers out of the East and West Regions who place in the top 12 in their events will advance to the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships, from June 5-8, in Austin, Texas.
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