A school record seven University of Toledo women’s track and field student-athletes will compete in the NCAA East Region Preliminary meet this week in Jacksonville, Fla.
The meet is hosted by North Florida and will take place Thursday through Saturday, May 28-30, and is the first phase on the road to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Representing the Rockets are senior Megan Wright (1,500-meter run), junior Liz Weiler (3,000-meter steeplechase), senior MacKenzie Chojnacky (3,000-meter steeplechase), senior Cara DeAngelis (5,000-meter run), junior Brooke Tullis (10,000-meter run), sophomore Cassie Vince (10,000-meter run) and senior Carly Molls (javelin). Chojnacky, Tullis and Wright each competed in the preliminary meet last year.
“Getting seven women into the NCAA meet is a great accomplishment,” Head Coach Linh Nguyen said. “We doubled the amount of distance runners from last year and added Carly in the javelin. If pole-vaulter Alexa [Jarrett] were healthy, we would have had two field event qualifiers.
“Obviously, these women all worked really hard to get to this point and will be excited to get down to Florida and try to advance to the finals. I couldn’t be any more proud of them for what they’ve accomplished so far this year,” Nguyen said. “At the same time, I know we have some people very capable of getting to the finals, so I’m looking forward to seeing them do so.”
Weiler and Tullis are Toledo’s highest-seeded competitors in the field. Weiler ranks 17th in the region in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 10:09.42, which she achieved at the Mt. San Antonio College Relays April 18 in Walnut, Calif. Tullis is 18th in the 10,000-meter run with a time of 34:21.19 registered at Mt. San Antonio College Relays as well.
A 20th-place finisher in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in last year’s NCAA Championships, Chojnacky is joining Weiler this week with a No. 31 ranking with a time of 10:16.98 notched at the Mt. San Antonio College Relays. Also ranking in the top 40 is Molls, who is 37th in the javelin with a throw of 46.19 at the Mt. San Antonio College Relays.
Sophomore Cassie Vince will join Tullis in the 10,000-meter race with a No. 46 seed following a third-place showing and a time of 35:00.00 at the Mid-American Conference Championship.
Senior Megan Wright will represent the Rockets in the 1,500-meter race; she qualified 47th with a time of 4:23.87 at Hillsdale College’s Gina Relays. Senior Cara DeAngelis is running in the 5,000-meter event, ranking 48th with a time of 16:28.79 at Hillsdale College’s GINA Relays.
The top 12 finishers in each individual event will advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships that will take place Wednesday through Saturday, June 10-13, in Eugene, Ore.