EMU - NCAA East Regional has Men's Track and Field Eyeing Nationals

EMU - NCAA East Regional has Men's Track and Field Eyeing Nationals

Provided by EMU

YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) – Four individual athletes as well as a 4x100-meter relay team will represent the Eastern Michigan University men's track and field team at the NCAA East Preliminary Round, May 23-25. The three-day regional meet will be contested on Irwin Belk Track inside Aggie Stadium in Greensboro, N.C., hosted by North Carolina A&T State University.

In order to qualify for regional competition, athletes had to crack the top-48 in their respective region (East or West). For relay teams, the top-24 times (one per school) qualify for regionals. Following the preliminary rounds, the top-12 will advance to the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships, June 5-8, in Eugene, Ore.

Darrell Butler (Miami, Fla.-Miami Carroll City) will lead the Green and White, qualifying in both the 110- and 400-meter hurdles. Butler has been the top hurdler for Eastern throughout the outdoor season since transferring from the University of Miami (Fla.). In his last time out on the track, he picked up points for EMU at the MAC Outdoor Championships, taking fourth in the 110-meter hurdles and third in the 400-meter hurdles with times of 14.46 and 52.12, respectively. The 400-meter hurdles will kick off Butler's regional, Thursday at 5 p.m., before taking a shot at the 110-meter hurdles the next day at 5:30 p.m.

Coming off of a personal-best leap of 17-feet 4.50-inches (5.30 meters), the second best outdoor jump in EMU history, Second Team All-MAC performer Max Babits (Fowlerville, Mich.-Fowlerville) will participate in the pole vault. Babits finished runner-up in the MAC to Akron's Shawn Barber, who holds the nation's second-best mark this year. Babits and Barber, along with other top vaulters east of the Mississippi River, will compete at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

Fellow Eagle Grzegorz Kalinowski (Lysomice, Poland) will race the 1,500-meter run, qualifying with the 37th-best time in the region, 3:46.10. Kalinowski ran that season-best time at the famed Mt. SAC Relays, April 18. The MAC Most Outstanding Performer during the indoor season, Kainowski earned Second Team All-MAC accolades courtesy of a second-place showing at the MAC Outdoor Championships. The junior will race in his only event Thursday at 6 p.m.

On the final day of compeition, Saturday at 6:15 p.m., the 4x100-meter realay team of Cameron Bolton (Missouri City, Texas-Hightower), Jay Saunders (Rochester Hills, Mich.-Rochester), Chris Scott (Holt, Mich.-Holt) and Matthew Williams (Moreno Valley, Calif.-Vista Del Lago) will participate as one-of-24 relay teams that qualified for regional competition. The four Eagles did not run a relay together until the Toledo Invitational, May 3, where they finished second.The quartet secured its spot in the field with a time of 40.47 at the MAC Outdoor Championships, crossing the finish line first to claim the conference title. The last time a 4x100 team qualified for regionals, Saunders was in the relay as a freshman during the 2010 season. the foursome of Ackeem Forde, Clint Allen, Koleon Prescott and Saunders finished 19th with a mark of 40.24.

After the original performance list was posted, Daryl Smith (Windsor, Ontario-Vincent Massey S.S.) became a late edition to participate in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Smith certainly deserved the nod after winning the race at the MAC Outdoor Championships. He flew past the competition in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, claiming the conference crown with a personal-record time of 9:02.86, nearly seven seconds ahead of his closest competitor. Smith's victory was the first MAC title of his career. The redshirt freshman will run in the last event Friday night at 9:30 p.m.

In 2012, Terefe Ejigu and Donald Scott advanced to the national meet after successful regional performances. Scott leapt 58-feet and 8.25-inches in the triple jump, which was good for sixth place at the preliminary round held in Jacksonville, Fla. at the University of North Florida, May 26. Ejigu took third in the 5,000-meter run, completing the distance in 14:01.88.

Qualifiers for NCAA Regional (Seed and Qualifying Mark)

1,500-meter run

37. Kalinowski, Grzegorz, 3:46.10

110-meter hurdles

47. Butler, Darrell, 14.13

400-meter hurdles

28. Butler, Darrell, 52.12

Pole Vault

15. Babits, Max 17-feet 4.50-inches

4x100-meter relay

23. Scott, C., Bolton, Williams, M., Saunders, 40.47