May 22, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – UConn men’s track and field saw five of its athletes earn spots in the NCAA Division I Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Preliminary Championships as announced by the selection committee on Thursday. Competitors ranked in the top-48 of the region (top-24 for relay teams) earned places in the preliminary championship. Four of the five Huskies to qualify will be competing at the NCAA Regional for the first time.
Placing in the top-twelve in the preliminary rounds earns a ticket to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon next month. The Huskies will be competing in the East Region, hosted by the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida from May 29-31. The West region will be held on those same dates at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
“The pinnacle of a collegiate athlete’s career is to have the opportunity to compete for a National Championship, and that is what these kids have,” said head coach Greg Roy.
Making his second appearance at the NCAA East Regional will be senior captain Eric Masington. The thrower will get another crack at reaching Oregon after finishing 16th in the discus at last year’s preliminary championship. His season’s best distance of 58.80m earned him the ticket to Jacksonville.
Freshman pole vaulter Craig Hunter will continue his exceptional rookie campaign in Florida next week. His record-setting height of 5.30m (17-04.50), which he posted twice to win gold at both the New England Championship and the IC4A Championship, represents a UConn outdoor track and field record. Hunter will look to book his first-ever trip to the NCAA Championship, as he enters with thirteenth-best qualifying score.
Junior Brian Eilers earned the right to compete in his first-ever NCAA Regional when he threw for 65.13m to take second place at the inaugural American Athletic Conference Championship earlier this month.
Freshman sprinter Chinedu Amonu earned a trip to his first career NCAA appearance in the 400m dash with a season-best time of 47.27. Joining him on the track will be Robert Rhodes, whose 800m time of 1:49.39 also qualified him for his first East Regional.
“I am proud of them and what they represent,” coach Roy added. “They embody hard work, discipline, and competitive toughness - all the things we look for in UConn track and field athletes.”
A complete list of declared athletes has been posted above. Start lists and results will be released as the event draws nearer and can be found by clicking HERE. Continue to check back to ncaa.com and uconnhuskies.com, where information will be posted as it becomes available.