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Zelinskas Hurdles Her Way to Regional Qualifier at Texas Relays

April 4, 2007
|  Austin, Texas
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Arlene Zelinskas qualified for the NCAA East Regional Championships in the 100-meter hurdles, Wednesday at the Texas Relays.

Arlene Zelinskas qualified for the NCAA East Regional Championships in the 100-meter hurdles, Wednesday at the Texas Relays.

Liberty senior Arlene Zelinskas qualified for the NCAA Division I East Regional Championships in the 100-meter hurdles and resides in 11th place in the heptathlon after the first day of action at the 80th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in Austin, Wednesday afternoon. Meanwhile, sophomore Daniel Newell is 12th in the decathlon through five events of his discipline. 

Zelinskas (Dayton, Ohio) raced to a season-best 13.80 clocking in her first of four events on the day, the 100-meter hurdles. Her only faster lifetime performance was a wind-aided 13.78 at last season's Liberty Twilight Qualifier. She ranked fifth among the 19 entrants in the event and has now qualified for regionals in two events, the 100-meter hurdles and the high jump. 

Zelinskas, who also ran a personal-best 24.89 seconds in the day's final event, the 200-meter dash, totaled a first-day score of 3,190. She is on pace to improve upon her personal-best score of 5,000 and to meet the provisional qualifying standard for the NCAA National Championships, 5,050. 

Zelinskas started the day with a bang, and Newell (Roanoke, Va.) finished up with his best performance, a 49.75 effort in the 400-meter dash which paced the 20 decathletes. His point total stands at 3,591, placing him on track for a personal best and giving him a shot to top 6,900 points and provisionally qualify for the NCAA National Championships. 

Diana Pickler of Washington State racked up 3,767 points in the first four events and holds a 306-point lead in the heptathlon. The top of the decathlon leaderboard is more tightly packed. Three athletes are separated by just 50 points, paced by Brandon Buteaux of Texas-San Antonio with a score of 3,871. 

The multi events will conclude on the second of four days of action at the Texas Relays, Thursday. The day's proceedings are scheduled to begin at noon Eastern. Liberty juniors Jon Hart (Wyomissing, Pa.) and Clendon Henderson (Meadow, Texas) will throw the hammer Thursday afternoon, as their event gets underway at 4:30 p.m. Eastern. Classmate Tim O'Donnell (Hurst, Texas) will run the 400-meter hurdle prelims at 6 p.m. Eastern.