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8 Flames Qualify for NCAA Preliminary Round
NCAA East Preliminary Round Men's Qualifiers
NCAA East Preliminary Round Women's Qualifiers
NCAA East Preliminary Round Informational Page
NCAA East Preliminary Round Schedule
Liberty will send eight athletes to the 2014 NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet, slated for May 29-31 at North Florida's Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla.
Six Liberty men's competitors made the field, including Zach Davis (high jump), Caleb Edmonds (5K), Steve Feister (javelin), Daniel Klase (javelin), Josh MacDonald (steeplechase and 5K) and ConRoy Smith (100). Lady Flames Meghan Burggraf (800) and Jennifer Nicholson (discus) will also compete in Jacksonville.
The three-day meet, which will determine the qualifiers for the 2014 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, will begin May 29 at noon with the men's javelin and women's hammer. Feister and Klase will be the first Flames to compete, throwing the javelin.
MacDonald is Liberty's NCAA Preliminary Round veteran of the bunch, as he will be making his third straight appearance at this meet. Meanwhile, Davis, Feister, Klase, Smith and Burggraf will all debut at the NCAA Preliminary Round next week.
MacDonald is the Flames' top seed, entering the meet at No. 13 in the men's steeplechase. On the other end of the spectrum, both Feister (tied for No. 53) and Smith (tied for No. 55) ended the regular season ranked outside the top 48 in the East Region. However, numerous athletes ahead of them on the performance list scratched, enabling Feister and Smith to compete in Jacksonville.
Thanks to MacDonald and Evans Kigen before him, Liberty has been represented in the men's steeplechase all five times the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet has been contested. Meanwhile, Smith will be the first Flame ever to compete in the 100-meter dash at this meet.
All eight of the Flames' NCAA Preliminary Round qualifiers will be seeking their first trip to the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, scheduled for June 11-14 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. Liberty has sent at least one athlete to the NCAA outdoor national championship in each of the last 10 seasons.
The top 12 finishers in each event at the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet will advance to Eugene, where they will be joined by 12 qualifiers per event from the concurrent NCAA Division I West Preliminary Round meet, which will take place in Fayetteville, Ark.