JACKSONVILLE, FL - The University at Buffalo track and field teams had a very successful first day at the NCAA East Region preliminaries, as two Bulls punched their tickets to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon. Jonathan Jones earned his second straight trip to the outdoor championships while sophomore Ryan Billian will go for the first time in his career.
Jones earned his second straight trip to the championships with his best performance ever in the shot put, shattering his own school record in the process. Jones notched a fourth place finish with a school and MAC record throw that traveled 66'04.50" (20.22m). He recorded a top eight finish which guaranteed him a spot in Eugene, Oregon once again. Evan Palmer had a strong showing in the shot put as well, earning a 21st place finish.
In the long jump, Billian shocked the field with his best performance of his young career. Billian set a personal best mark of 25'00.50" (7.63m) en route to a sixth place finish and a spot in the NCAA's. Billian will have two more chances to earn NCAA bids as he will take part in the 110m hurdles event and the 4x100m relay.
On the track, the Bulls had three athletes qualify for the finals which will be held on Friday afternoon. Leading the way was Asia Henry who qualified for the finals of the 800m run with a season-best time of 2:06.17 en route to a 16th place finish. Donna Jeanty, 400m hurdles MAC champion, had another strong showing for the Bulls as she finished in 18th place in 58.52 seconds, just off her school record time. Miles Lewis qualified for the finals in the premier event on the guys side, 100m dash, as he finished in 23rd place in 10.65 seconds.
Although he didnt qualify for the finals in the 800m run, Tyler Scheving was impressive on Thursday as he broke his own school record in the event, finishing in 1:49.07. Scheving took home 35th place while Jacob Sunday finished in 28th place in the javelin with a throw that traveled 202'08.00" (61.97m).
Day two action of the NCAA East Region Preliminaries will begin on Friday at 10:00 am with the men's hammer throw, as Palmer will aim for his first ever trip to the NCAA Championships. Track events will begin at 5:00 pm with the men's 110m hurdles.