Five Bulls Slated to Compete in NCAA East Preliminaries

Five Bulls Slated to Compete in NCAA East Preliminaries

BUFFALO, NY – Five members of the University at Buffalo track and field team will compete at the NCAA East Preliminaries, which run from May 23-25, at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Fla. To qualify for the NCAA Preliminaries, a student-athlete must be ranked in the top-48 in their respective event. Leon Atkins, Devon Patterson, Sam Wray, Brandon Burke and Shevaughn Allen will all compete for Buffalo as they look to advance to the NCAA Championships hosted by the University of Texas on June 5-8.

Junior Leon Atkins will compete in the Men's 800m event, and is coming off of eye-opening year, dropping three seconds off his previous personal best in the 800m and winning the MAC Indoor tittle in the 800m. Most recently, Atkins earned the Silver medal just a week ago at the MAC Outdoor Championships.  His personal best mark of 1:49.56 is ranked 30th in the NCAA East Region.  Atkins will hit the track for the first round of the 800m race which will be held on Thursday, May 23.

Senior Devon Patterson will compete in his fourth NCAA East Preliminary Meet in the men's shot put event. Last week, Devon claimed the MAC Title in the Shot Put with a toss of 17.98m, continuing a 10-year winning streak for the Bulls in the event under the guidance of Coach Jim Garnham. Patterson is currently ranked #22 in the event heading into the East Prelims. 

Junior Sam Wray earned his second birth to the NCAA East Preliminary Meet in the men's Discus Throw. Wray is looking to improve on his silver medal performance at the MAC Championships last weekend as he placed second in the event with a distance of 50.48m. Wray's personal best mark of 53.90m, set this season at the UB Invitational, currently ranks him 36th in the NCAA East region coming into the event.

Sophomore Brandon Burke enters the NCAA East Preliminaries with the fifth best high jump mark in the region. Burke's record-breaking season to this point includes winning the Jim Thorpe Open with a school record mark of 2.20m (7'2.50"), and a dominating win at the MAC Championships with a height of 2.15m.  Burke enters the NCAA East Prelim as the highest ranking Bull competing. 

Freshman Shevaughn "Jay" Allen has advanced to the NCAA Preliminary meet in the triple jump event with his personal best leap of 15.33m (50'3.50") set at the Bison Outdoor Classic, hosted by Bucknell University. Allen, just a freshman, currently ranks second in program history and is seeded 37th in the east region. 

The top 12 finishers at the Preliminary Rounds will advance to the NCAA Final Championships at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas.

The action is scheduled to get underway on Thursday, May 23. The complete schedule of events can be found here.

For more information, including tickets, heat sheets, and a link to the live stream (provided by FloTrack), please visit the 2019 NCAA East Preliminary Round homepage here.