WMU - NCAA East Prelims for Hodge and Hiler Begin Thursday

WMU - NCAA East Prelims for Hodge and Hiler Begin Thursday

Provided by WMU

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Western Michigan's Andrea Hiler and Aisha Hodge are set to represent the WMU track and field team at the NCAA East Preliminary Championship Round at the University of North Florida beginning on Thursday.

Hodge, a senior from Bangor, Mich., competes in the first round of the 800-meter run on Thursday at 8:35 p.m. To advance to Friday's semifinals she must either finish in the top three of her heat or have one of the top six times after the first 18 qualifiers. Hodge currently ranks 46th overall and eight in her heat with a season-best time of 2:08.14. Should she claim one of the 24 spots, she then must finish in the top three of her heat in the semifinals or was one of the next three best times to move on to the NCAA Championships.

For Hiler the task is a little simpler. The Watervliet, Mich., native must finish in the top 12 of the discus or the shot put to move on to legendary Hayward Field at the University of Oregon. Hiler competes in the discus on Friday at 3:30 p.m. Regardless of the outcome the senior will go down as WMU's top discus thrower. She ranks 19th in the region and has held the Western Michigan record since 2012. The preliminaries of the shot put take place on Saturday at 4 p.m.

This is Hiler's fourth trip in four years to the NCAA East Regional Preliminary Championships and her fourth time competing in the discus. Last season she finished 13th, just one spot shy of advancing. It is her third time qualifying for the shot put but only second time competing in the shot put.

Hodge makes her third trip, with a personal-best finish of 37th coming in 2012.