Tickets Punched & Quarterfinal Berths Highlight T&F

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Flanagan Punches Ticket to NCAA Championships
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Senior javelin thrower Jason Flanagan crossed another goal off his list on Thursday afternoon at the NCAA East Preliminary Round in Jacksonville, Fla., as he advanced to the NCAA Championships after narrowly missing the national meet a year ago.

The Philadelphia, Pa., native threw for 67.32m (220-10) on his fifth attempt of the day to place ninth in the 48 competitor field. Flanagan will be joined by the other top 11 qualifiers from the East along with the top 12 finishers from the NCAA West Preliminary Round at the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, from June 6-8.

Flanagan, who was in the third and final event flight, needed to throw for a minimum of 66.00m (216-06) on his first three attempts to advance to the event finals. He proceeded to open with a mark of 66.54m (218-03), the fifth-best mark of the day to that point, to secure his position in the event finals. His next three throw were in the 62m to 65m range before he unleashed his best throw of the day to finish ninth overall. He would foul on his final attempt.

Flanagan is the first Coastal Carolina men's track and field team member to advance to the NCAA Championship meet since Jacques Watson did so in the high jump during the 2009 season. Additionally, Flanagan joins former CCU and Big South record holder Thomas Jordan (2004 and 2006) as the only Chanticleers to advance to the NCAA Championships in the javelin.

Charleston Southern's Houston Earns Quarterfinal Spot in 100m
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Gabrielle Houston got things off to a fast start for the CSU women's track & field team, qualifying for the quarterfinals of the 100-meter dash on Thursday evening at the 2012 NCAA East Preliminaries at Hodges Stadium Track & Field on the campus of the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.

Houston took third in her heat to earn her spot in the quarterfinals. She ran a season-best 11.45 and currently ranks sixth heading into tomorrow's quarterfinal heats. Houston's event is slated to start at 6:45 Friday evening, with the top three runners from each heat plus the three fastest times advancing to nationals in Des Moines, Iowa.

"She's peaking at the right time," said head coach Tosha Ansley. "I'm very happy with her performance and think we are in good shape heading into the next round."

Mulern Jean will join Houston at the competition tomorrow. Jean is scheduled to run the 100-meter hurdles at 5:30 p.m.

Allen, Young Advance at NCAA Prelims
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Both Lavon Allen and Javon Young advanced to the next rounds in the long jump and 100-meter dash, respectively, on the first day of competition at the 2012 NCAA East Preliminaries at Hodges Stadium Track & Field on Friday. The University of North Florida is hosting the event in Jacksonville this weekend.

Allen started things off with a distance of 7.34 meters on his first attempt of the day. His second jump went for 7.48 meters and his third for a distance of 7.35 meters, with his second attempt placing him 14th overall. His ranking earned him a spot in the finals as the field was narrowed to 16 competitors down from 47.

With his first attempt in the final round, Allen increased his distance to 7.51 meters. His second attempt went for 7.40 meters, with his final jump measured at 7.46 meters. Allen would fall just shy of advancing to the national meet as the top 12 move on to Des Moines, Iowa.

Next up for the Bucs was Young, who entered the day seeded 24th in the 100-meter dash. After the heat was called back due to a faulty block, Young went on to take third place in his heat with a time of 10.48. He finished 26th overall and will run again tomorrow in the quarterfinals of the event, slated to begin at 6:30 p.m.

Young will also compete in the 200-meter dash first round, where he will be joined by teammates Rozzie Johnson and Cornelius Tyler. The event is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Friday evening.

HPU's Emery Advances in NCAA 100-meter Preliminary
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Sophomore Evan Emery qualified for the second round in the 100-meter dash in his first trip to the NCAA Preliminaries on Thursday afternoon in Jacksonville, Fla. Emery will compete in the second round on Friday and juniors Jacob Smith and Dakota Peachee will compete in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

In the first event on Thursday, freshman Christian Spaulding placed 20th in the javelin.

"Evan and Christian were both solid today," said HPU head coach Mike Esposito. "Christian threw over 63 meters as a freshman and 66 meters made the national final. He's going in the right direction. Evan did what he needed to do to advance. He had a good start and he needs to take the next step tomorrow."

Emery placed 12th overall and second in his heat of the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.48. The top three finishers in each heat automatically qualified for the second round on Friday at 6:30 p.m.

Spaulding placed 20th out of 46 competitors with a distance of 63.62 meters (208-8) on his third throw. Competing in the first of three preliminary flights, he threw the javelin 63.13 meters (207-1) on his first attempt. The two distances were the second- and third-best throws of his career.

Spaulding has a season best of 64.45 meters (211-5) in the javelin, which placed him third in the Big South Championship. He qualified for the U.S. Junior National Championship and will compete in that meet June 15-17 in Bloomington, Ind.

Also on Friday, both Smith and Peachee will compete in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at 8:50 p.m. Smith's season-best time of 8:54.56 ranks him 16th going into the competition while Peachee's 9:02.70 ranks him 45th. Peachee's career best is 8:58.72 from 2010.

The top 12 finishers from each event move on to the NCAA Final, which will be held June 6-9 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa.

Kitur Advances at NCAA Preliminary Round
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - VMI's Felix Kitur won his heat in the opening round of the 800-meters at the NCAA East Preliminary Round, contested Thursday night at North Florida's Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla. With the win, Kitur moves on to Friday's quarterfinals, where he will contend for a berth at the NCAA Championships.

Kitur won his heat in 1:51.19, prevailing in what would wind up as the slowest of the six heats. The senior went out with the leaders in the opening 200 meters, running in a pack of five and completing the opening 200 in 26.56. Coming around the curve, Kitur would trip slightly while running in traffic and would slow noticeably. He then went to the outside, coming to the completion of the first lap, and moved to third with a 29.04 second 200 split.

Kitur was then able to move to second at the third split, running the third 200 in 28.76 before closing well, running a 26.84 to close out the race and edge second place David Mokone of Western Kentucky. This was Kitur's fifth heat win in seven career tries at this event, and he will bid for his fourth career appearance at the NCAA Championships Friday night.

VMI track and field will return to action Friday, when Jennifer Sing takes part in the women's pole vault at 11 a.m., while Kitur runs at 7 p.m.

Mitchell 26th in Preliminary Round Javelin
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Liberty redshirt junior Christina Mitchell placed 26th in the women's javelin, representing the Flames' top finish on a hot, sticky Thursday afternoon at the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet at UNF's Hodges Stadium.

Mitchell sent her first of three javelin attempts out to 135-4, placing sixth in her flight and 26th out of 48 entrants in her NCAA Preliminary Round debut.

Two Liberty athletes, Jennifer Klugh and Taylor Courtney, wrapped up their respective collegiate careers on Thursday. Making her third appearance at the NCAA Preliminary Round meet, Klugh clocked a 1,500-meter time of 4:30.13. That marked the 32nd-fastest time overall, a marked improvement over her No. 45 seed.

Klugh, who will run her final season of collegiate cross country in the fall, wraps up her Liberty track & field career as a seven-time Big South champion on the track.

Courtney, both an IC4A and Big South champion during his time with the Flames, posted a time of 54.12 in his heat of the 400-meter hurdles on Thursday. That placed the Keystone State native 38th in the event.

Freshman Mychelle Cumings placed 37th in the women's shot put. Her second throw, which reached 46-5.25, was her longest attempt of the afternoon.

Much like Cumings, Smith's second throw, 159-9, was his best effort and netted 37th place in the men's discus competition. The redshirt junior finished 11 spots better than his No. 48 seed entering the meet.

Smith will be the very first athlete to compete at Hodges Stadium Friday morning, as he is the first thrower in the first flight of the men's hammer at 10 a.m. Three other Liberty athletes will be in action Friday, with the Flames' day wrapping up when Josh MacDonald runs the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase at 8:50 p.m.

England Finishes Freshman Campaign at NCAA East Preliminary Round
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Danielle England finished 44th in the javelin throw at the NCAA East Preliminary Round on Thursday, May 24, capping her excellent freshman campaign.

Despite a nagging injury, England entered the NCAA East Preliminary Round event seeded 45th with a qualifying mark of 43.27m (141-11), a career-best. The South Orange, N.J., native opened the event with 32.75m (107-05) effort, her best of the day. Her second attempt went for 31.98m (104-11) before fouling on her third and final attempt.

England's career-best currently ranks fifth on the CCU all-time list, falling only 2.77m short of Deborah Mattern's record of 46.04m (151-00).

Danielle England currently ranks fifth on the CCU javelin all-time list.

HPU's Gamble Finishes Career at NCAA Preliminary
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Senior Manika Gamble of the High Point University women's track & field team finished her collegiate career at the NCAA Preliminaries on Thursday afternoon in Jacksonville, Fla. She placed 46th in the 400-meter hurdles.

"Manika had a great career here and she's a great person," said HPU head coach Mike Esposito. "She has her name all over the High Point University record book and she scored a lot of points at Big South Championships. Unfortunately she didn't have her best performance today to close it out."

Gamble placed 46th in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:01.98.

She was four-time Big South champ in that event and also added conference titles in the indoor 400-meter dash and distance medley relay. She owns the HPU and Big South Conference record of 58.56 in the 400-meter hurdles.

In April at the Big South Championship, Gamble won the 400-meter hurdles, was runner-up in the 100-meter hurdles and ran a leg of the fifth-place 4x400 relay.

Gamble owns High Point University records in seven individual events and one relay.

The meet concluded the outdoor season for the HPU track & field team.