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27 Flames Qualify for Tampa, Ballengee Headed to Eugene

May 17, 2018  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Alejandro Perlaza Zapata is the No. 3 seed in the men's 400 and will also compete on the men's 4 x 400 relay in Tampa.

Alejandro Perlaza Zapata is the No. 3 seed in the men's 400 and will also compete on the men's 4 x 400 relay in Tampa.

NCAA East Preliminary Round Men's Qualifiers

NCAA East Preliminary Round Women's Qualifiers

NCAA National Decathlon Qualifiers

NCAA East Preliminary Round Meet Information

NCAA East Preliminary Round Meet Schedule

A record 27 Liberty track & field athletes have qualified for next week's 2018 NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet (May 24-26) in Tampa, Fla. Meanwhile, sophomore Markus Ballengee has earned a trip to the 2018 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships (June 6-9 in Eugene, Ore.) for the decathlon.

Thirteen Liberty men's athletes will compete in the Sunshine State, including Samuel Arter (javelin), Jovaine Atkinson (110 hurdles), Jahquez Durham (400, 4 x 400), Jeff Jacobs (4 x 400), Darrel Jones (triple jump), Azaria Kirwa (10K), Alejandro Perlaza Zapata (400, 4 x 400), Denzel Pratt (javelin), Bradley Prentice (800), Branson Rolle (400 hurdles), Colin Schultz (1,500), Michael Todd (4 x 400) and Carson Waters (pole vault).

They will be joined by 14 Lady Flames, including Ty'Asia Dansbury (4 x 100, 4 x 400), Paige Demetriades (javelin), Cortney Dowling (4 x 100, 4 x 400), Tanner Ealum (800, 4 x 400), Jessie Glynn (pole vault), Kimone Green (400 hurdles, 4 x 100, 4 x 400), Chelsea Igberaese (discus), Dasiana Larson (hammer), Delaney McDowell (800), Naomi Mojica (shot put), Noel Palmer (10K), Brenna Smith (javelin), Patria Vaimaona (discus) and Alexis Wilson (4 x 100).

Liberty's previous record was 16 NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round qualifiers at the meet's inaugural edition in 2010 in Greensboro, N.C.

For the first time in meet history, the 2018 NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round will be hosted at the USF Track & Field Stadium in Tampa, Fla. The three-day meet, which will determine the qualifiers for the 2018 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, will begin May 24 at 11:30 a.m. with the men's hammer. Liberty's first event will be the men's pole vault, featuring Tampa-area native Waters, May 24 at 1 p.m.

The 2018 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be contested June 6-9 in Eugene, Ore. The meet will serve as the final competition at Hayward Field before the facility is rebuilt in preparation the 2021 IAAF World Championships.

The top 12 finishers in each event at the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet will join Ballengee in Eugene. Twelve qualifiers in each event will also advance to Eugene from the NCAA Division I West Preliminary Round meet, slated for next week in Sacramento, Calif.

The following is a breakdown of Liberty's NCAA postseason qualifiers by the numbers.

0: Prior to this year, Liberty had qualified zero relay teams to the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet. This season, the Flames are bringing three relay squads to Tampa, including the women's 4 x 100, women's 4 x 400 and men's 4 x 400.

1: One current Flame has competed at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Azaria Kirwa advanced to Eugene in the men's 5K a year ago but is only entered in the 10K this season.

3: Alejandro Perlaza Zapata is Liberty's highest NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round seed in any event, as he is seeded No. 3 in the men's 400 at 44.86.

3: Kimone Green (women's 400 hurdles, 4 x 100 and 4 x 400) will be the third Liberty athlete ever to compete in three different events at the same NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet, joining Clarence Powell in 2010 (men's long jump, triple jump and high jump) and Ryan Smith in 2012 (men's shot put, discus and hammer).

3: Darrel Jones, Dasiana Larson, Denzel Pratt and Carson Waters are Liberty's NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet veterans. They will each be competing in the meet for the third consecutive year.

5: Liberty will be represented in the following five events at the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round meet for the first time: men's 400 (Jahquez Durham and Alejandro Perlaza Zapata), men's 4 x 400 relay (Perlaza Zapata, Michael Todd, Jeff Jacobs and Durham), women's 400 hurdles (Kimone Green), women's 4 x 100 relay (Alexis Wilson, Ty'Asia Dansbury, Green and Cortney Dowling) and women's 4 x 400 relay (Green, Tanner Ealum, Dowling and Dansbury).

6: Liberty's NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round qualifiers include six freshmen (Ty'Asia Dansbury, Chelsea Igberaese, Naomi Mojica, Noel Palmer, Branson Rolle and Alexis Wilson).

8: Eight of the Flames' NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round qualifiers are seniors, including Jessie Glynn, Kimone Green, Jeff Jacobs, Darrel Jones, Dasiana Larson, Colin Schultz, Brenna Smith and Carson Waters.

10: Markus Ballengee will be the 10th Liberty decathlete to compete at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships but the first since Daniel Newell in 2009.

17: Seventeen of Liberty's 27 qualifiers will be making their NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round debuts. The Flames' first-time qualifiers include Ty'Asia Dansbury, Paige Demetriades, Cortney Dowling, Jahquez Durham, Tanner Ealum, Kimone Green, Chelsea Igberaese, Jeff Jacobs, Delaney McDowell, Naomi Mojica, Noel Palmer, Alejandro Perlaza Zapata, Bradley Prentice, Branson Rolle, Colin Schultz, Patria Vaimaona and Alexis Wilson.

20: Ty'Asia Dansbury will celebrate her 20th birthday on Saturday, the day the freshman will compete in the women's 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relays.