JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (5/24/12) - Four Princeton track & field student-athletes have advanced in their respective events as the 2012 NCAA East Regional began today, May 24 at the University of North Florida.
Senior Trevor Van Ackeren was the first to qualify in the men's 1500. Van Ackeren ran 3:47.99 in heat three to finish in the top five which advances him to the quarterfinals. Midway through the race at 700 meters, Van Ackeren sat in fourth place and at 1100 meters he had moved into second place. He will compete against 23 others in the quarterfinal round on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. The top five from each of two heats plus the next two fastest times will advance to the semifinals in Des Moines.
Junior Greta Feldman qualify in the same event on the women's side. Feldman won her heat at 4:23.76 and had the 12th best time out of the 48 competitors. In heat two, junior Alexis Mikaelian ran 4:32.70 and Molly Higgins ran 4:28.25 in heat three. Feldman was in the middle of the pack at 1100 meters but turned on the heat in the final lap running the best time in the field to cross the line first. The quarterfinals is set for Saturday at 6:45 p.m., with the top five from each of two heats plus the next two fastest times moving on the semis in Des Moines.
Sophomore Michael Williams qualified for the quarterfinals of the 800 after finishing second in heat 1 in the first round. Williams ran 1:49.56, the seventh best time out the 48 competitors. Williams made his move after the first 400 meters moving into fourth place with 200 meters to go and edged up two more places in the final 200 meters. The quarterfinal of 28 is slated for Friday at 7 p.m. The top three in each of three heats plus the next three fastest will advance to the semifinal next weekend.
The first Tiger to reach the championship final is senior Brian Leung in the 10,000. Leung ran 30:17.64 to finish eighth out of 48 in the semifinal. He is one of 24 who will run for the national title on June 6. Sophomore Alejandro Arroyo Yamin and senior Thomas Dialynas clocked in at 31:20.32 and 32:11.61, respectively.
Also competing in the first round were sophomore Tom Hopkins and junior Russell Dinkins. Hopkins ran 47.19 to finish fifth in heat 1 and Dinkins was sixth in the same heat at 47.31. Sophomore Kacie O'Neil clocked in at 2:08.32 in the 800 to finish fifth in heat 6.
Day 2 of the NCAA East Regional kicks off for the Tigers at 10 a.m., when the national leader in the hammer throw sophomore Conor McCullough competes in the semifinals.