GREENSBORO, N.C. – Miami University senior Jarrod Eick highlighted a quintet of RedHawks on the men’s track and field team who competed on the opening day of the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds Thursday, as he qualified for the 1500m quarterfinals at North Carolina A&T State University’s Irwin Belk Track at Aggie Stadium.
Eick (Hartville, Ohio) clocked a personal-best time of 3:44.12, which was sixth in his first round heat, but it was also the sixth-fastest qualifying time among all 48 runners. The top five from each of the four heats automatically advances to the quarterfinals, however Eick earned one of four at-large berths by having one of the next best four times. He actually had the best at-large time, which placed him 21st in qualifying. His time ranks him fifth in school history, as he improved on his qualifying time of 3:46.07, which had him seeded 36th. Eick, who was 37th at last year’s East Prelims in the 1500m first round, runs in the 1500m quarterfinals on Saturday at 6:45 p.m. He is the only Mid-American Conference runner in the 24-man field, while Notre Dame’s Jeremy Rae had the top first round time of 3:43.33.
Senior John Cantwell (Holland, Pa.) led a pair of RedHawks in the long jump as he closed out his career by placing 26th in the prelims with a leap of 7.12m/23-4.5. He recorded the mark on his third and final attempt, improving on each jump. Junior Sam Spallinger (Pandora, Ohio) finished 34th with a jump of 6.95m/22-9.75, which he posted on the second of his three attempts. Cantwell, who was the top MAC finisher among the six in the 48-man field, entered the meet seeded 15th with a jump of 7.58m/24-10.5, which is second in school history. Spallinger was seeded 33rd with his mark of 7.43m/24-4.5, which won him the MAC title, though he was third among MAC jumpers Thursday. Spallinger was sixth in flight two while Cantwell was ninth in flight three. Virginia Tech’s Jeff Artis-Gray won the prelims with a leap of 7.83m/25-8.25, while the top 12 finishers advanced to the NCAA Championships.
Junior Rob Stein (Villa Park, Ill.) placed 32nd in the discus with a heave of 49.64m/162-10. Stein, who has qualified for the East Prelims all three years as a RedHawk, entered the meet ranked 21st in the region with his throw of 55.79m/183-0, which ranks him third in school history. Last year, he fouled on all three attempts, but this year he improved on each of his three throws and finished 13th in flight two. He was fourth among the six MAC throwers in the 48-man field, while Kent State’s Reginald Jagers was the only one to finish in the top 12 and advance to the NCAA Championships. Rutgers’ James Plummer was first in the discus prelims with a toss of 61.27m/201-0.
Fellow junior Jahquil Hargrove (Norristown, Pa.) capped Miami’s day at the East Prelims as he equaled his seed by finishing 38th in the 400m dash first round, crossing in 47.44. He entered the meet ranked 38th out of 48 with his qualifying time of 47.23. The top 24 advanced to the 400m quarterfinals on Friday, with the top three in each of the six heats, along with the next six best times making the field. Mississippi State’s Daundre Barnaby had the top first round time of 45.47.
Sophomore Tyler Yee (Florida, N.Y.) is the lone RedHawk to compete on Friday at the East Prelims, as he throws the javelin at noon. He enters ranked 38th in the region and is one of five MAC throwers in the first round. He will throw in the first of three flights while the top 16 overall get three more throws in the final, before 12 move on to the NCAA Championships. Along with Eick running on Saturday, freshman Peter Stefanski (Aurora, Ill.) competes in the high jump at 6 p.m. as the seventh RedHawk at the NCAA prelims.