INDIANAPOLIS – A record seven RedHawks will represent the Miami University men’s track and field team at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds May 23-25 in Greensboro, N.C., as the NCAA announced the official field Thursday. Seniors John Cantwell and Jarrod Eick, juniors Jahquil Hargrove, Sam Spallinger and Rob Stein, sophomore Tyler Yee and freshman Peter Stefanski all earned a spot in the NCAA preliminary meet. The seven qualifying RedHawks mark the most athletes Miami has sent to the meet since the current format began in 2010.

The first and second rounds (quarterfinal round) of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be held at North Carolina A&T State University’s Irwin Belk Track at Aggie Stadium. The top 48 athletes per event from both the East and West Regions qualify for the NCAA Prelims, which serves as the opening round(s) of the NCAA Championships.

For the third time in three years, Stein (Villa Park, Ill.) qualified for the East Prelims in the discus, as he ranks 21st in the region with his heave of 55.79m/183-0. He recorded his throw at the Jesse Owens Classic April 19 and ranks third in school history in the event. Stein will compete in the NCAA discus first round on Thursday, May 23 at 10 a.m. in the very first event of the weekend. He is one of six Mid-American Conference throwers to qualify in the discus.

Making his second straight trip to the NCAA East Prelims, Hargrove (Norristown, Pa.) again qualified in the 400m dash. He ranks 38th in the East Region with his time of 47.23, which he clocked at the Billy Hayes Invitational May 3. The school record holder in the event, Hargrove will run in the first round on Thursday at 7:45 p.m. Should he finish in the top 24, he would then advance to the quarterfinals and run again Friday at 6:15 p.m. Hargrove, the runner-up in the 400m at this year’s MAC Championships and the 400m champion at last year’s MAC meet, is one of just two MAC sprinters in the 400m field.

Eick (Hartville, Ohio) also returns to the NCAA East Prelims for a second straight year, doing so in the 1500m run. He ranks 36th in the East Region with his personal-best time of 3:46.07, which he clocked at the Billy Hayes Invitational, as well, and ranks him sixth in school history. Eick, who looks to improve on his 37th-place finish at last year’s East Prelims, will run in the 1500m first round on Thursday at 6 p.m., while the top 24 advance to the quarterfinals on Saturday at 6:45 p.m. Eick, the 2013 MAC champion in the 1500m, will be one of just two MAC runners in the 1500m field.  

A pair of RedHawks qualified for the long jump in Cantwell (Holland, Pa.) and Spallinger (Pandora, Ohio). Cantwell is the highest ranked RedHawk in the East Region, as he sits 15th in the long jump with his leap of 7.58m/24-10.5, which ranks him second in school history. He recorded his personal-best jump at the Billy Hayes Invitational. Spallinger is 33rd in the region with his jump of 7.43m/24-4.5, which ties him for fourth in school history. He notched his mark at the MAC Championships last Friday en route to winning the MAC long jump title, while Cantwell earned MAC runner-up. Cantwell and Spallinger are two of six MAC jumpers to compete in the NCAA first round of the long jump, which takes place next Thursday at 1 p.m.

Yee (Florida, N.Y.) earned a spot in the javelin with his toss of 64.35m/211-1, which ranks him 38th in the region and second in school history. He recorded the throw at the MAC Championships last Thursday, when he finished fourth. He will be joined by five other MAC throwers in the NCAA first round of the javelin, which takes place at noon on Friday, May 24.

Stefanski (Aurora, Ill.) completes Miami’s qualifiers at the NCAA East Prelims, as he ranks 40th in the high jump with his leap of 2.10m/6-10.75, which actually ties for 33rd in the region. He cleared the bar at 2.10m three times during the season, first doing so at the Sea Ray Relays April 13 and most recently at the RedHawk Invitational April 27. Stefanski, who was the runner-up in the high jump at last weekend’s MAC Championships, will compete in the first round at 6 p.m. on Saturday in the final field event of the East Prelims. He is one of four MAC high jumpers to qualify for the NCAA East Prelims.

The top 12 finishers in each event at the East and West Preliminary Rounds then move on to the NCAA Championships, which are hosted by the University of Oregon in Eugene, Ore. June 5-8 at Hayward Field. The field for the Preliminary Rounds was determined based on times/marks recorded throughout the season. The Mississippi River serves as the dividing line between the East and West Regions with the West Prelims being held in Austin, Texas at the University of Texas.

--MURedHawks.com--