Track and Field Set For NCAA East Region Preliminary Round

Track and Field Set For NCAA East Region Preliminary Round

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BUFFALO, NY – A total of 18 athletes from the University at Buffalo men's and women's track and field teams will head to Jacksonville, FL, for the NCAA East Regional Outdoor Track and Field Preliminary round beginning on Thursday, May 29. The event is being held at Hodges Stadium on the campus of the University of North Florida.

The Bulls 18 athletes will compete in 17 different events as they aim to advance to the NCAA Championships on June 11-14 in Eugene, Oregon. The top-12 competitors in each individual event and the top-12 teams in the relays from each preliminary round site will advance to the Championships.

Buffalo has three athletes that will compete in at least two separate events this weekend. Ryan Billian leads the way, as he will take part in three separate events for UB, 110m hurdles, long jump and the 4x100m relay. Senior Miles Lewis will take part in the premier event, 100m dash, as well as the 4x100m relay while Evan Palmer is participating in the shot put and hammer throw following a great senior season that saw him break the hammer throw school record three times.

In field events, the Bulls have seven guys participating as Jonathan Jones leads the group, aiming for his second straight NCAA Championships appearance. Jones is currently ranked fifth in the NCAA in the shot put with a long throw of 65'02.25" (19.87m). Jacob Sunday enters the preliminary round on a high note following his first ever MAC title in the javelin and currently ranks 20th in the NCAA with a long throw of 224'04.00" (68.37m). Austin Price will compete in the triple jump while Craig Howard and John Strickland will compete in the pole vault and high jump respectively.

On the track, Tyler Scheving will take part in the 800m run while the 4x100m relay quartet of Billian, Lewis, Jalen Law and Darien Johnson will aim for a Championship appearance following a record-setting season for the Bulls. The 4x100m relay squad set the school record, 40.29 seconds, at the Florida Relays earlier this season.

On the women's side, 400m hurdles MAC champion Donna Jeanty looks to advance to the Championship following a great senior season that saw her win a MAC crown as well as set the school record of 58.13 seconds. Jeanty currently ranks 16th in the NCAA in the event. Asia Henry and Camaria Long will also compete for the Bulls in the 800m run and 200m dash, respectively.

In field events for the women, Emma Siuciak ranks 14th in the NCAA in the high jump for UB following a season-best leap that cleared a height of 5'11.25" (1.81m). Siuciak just missed out on qualifying for the heptathlon as she came in second place in the event at the MAC Championships. A pair of throwers will make appearances in the shot put as Rachel Roberts ranks 16th in the NCAA with a throw of 52'08.00" (16.05m), which she recorded at the MAC's. Megan Patterson also will appear in the event while junior Kelly Truppo will aim for a trip to the Championships in the pole vault.

The Bulls boast seven athletes ranked in the top 20 of their respective events, including Jones (5th, shot put), Mike Morgan (7th, decathlon), Palmer (13th, hammer throw), Sunday (20th, javelin), Siuciak (14th, high jump), Roberts (16th, shot put) and Jeanty (16th, 400m hurdles).

Morgan has already qualified for the NCAA Championships following his record-setting performance at the MAC Championships that saw him earn his first ever MAC crown while setting a school record of 7,966 points. Morgan currently sits in seventh place in the NCAA in the decathlon, his highest ranking of his career.

The NCAA East Regional Preliminary round gets underway Thurs., May 29 at 12 p.m. with the men's javelin and the women's hammer throw. Track events kick off at 4:30 p.m. with the men's 400m hurdles.