Illini Qualify 16 Athletes to NCAA Preliminary Round in Austin
May 17, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois women's track and field team boasts 16 qualifiers in 10 events, including the 4x400m relay, to the NCAA West Preliminary Round of Championship at the University of Texas in Austin from May 24-26, as announced by the NCAA and the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Thursday. Two seasons ago, the NCAA switched post-season formats for the outdoor track championships going from four regional sites to East and West preliminary round sites. The East NCAA Preliminary Rounds will be held at the same time in Jacksonville, Fla.
Each preliminary round site will host the top 48 declared athletes, or 24 relay teams, in each event, with the exception of the heptathlon. The preliminary round will serve as the first two rounds of competition for the NCAA Championships, narrowing the field in each event to 12 from each region.
The top 12 performers from each preliminary round site will then advance to compete at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Austin, Texas, from June 6-9.
The Illini are ranked in the top-25 in nine different events, led by freshman Ashley Spencer in the 400m at No. 1. The 4x400m relay is also in the top-10 at No. 4 in the event along with five other Illini who rank in the 10 best performers in their event, including sophomore Stephanie Richartz (pole vault) at No. 6, senior Latoya Griffith (400m hurdles) at No. 7, sophomore Breeana Colman (100m hurdles) at No. 8, sophomore Jesica Ejesieme (400m hurdles) at No. 9 and senior Ashley Kelly (400m) at No. 10. Sophomore Katie Porada is listed at No. 20 in the 1,500m while junior Courtney Yaeger is seeded No. 22 in the 10,000m. Juniors Madeline Aufmann. Amber Stack and Kawanna Brooks are also among the top-25 competitors, listed at No. 13 and No. 18 in the 3,000m steeplechase and No. 23 in the long jump, respectively. A full list of Illinois athletes heading to the NCAA Preliminary Round can be found below.
2012 NCAA West Preliminary Round of Championship - Illinois Qualifiers