May 23, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas- The UC Davis men's and women's track and field teams will send seven men and seven women to the NCAA West Prelim Meet at the University of Texas beginning Thursday with sights set on the national finals next month.
The prelim meet serves as the opening rounds of the national championship meet which will continue with the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa on June 6-9. This weekend's meet, which concludes on Saturday, is one of two prelim meets being held and is being contested at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
The Aggies are sending at least 14 individuals to the regional meet for the fourth time in five seasons at the Div. I level but have been represented each year. UC Davis has been out of action since claiming its first-ever Big West Women's Track and Field Championship on May 12 at UC Irvine.
On the men's side, UC Davis will be represented by Brock Bennett (javelin), Ethan Ostrom (pole vault), Michael Peterson (pole vault), Nathan Strum (1,500) and Brandon Greenberg (shot put), Igor Seriba (triple jump) and Jonathan Peterson(5,000).
Melanise Chapman, a winner in both the 100- and 200-meter sprints at the conference championships, will open in the former on Thursday along with Katie Fry (800), Big West Women's Track Athlete of the Year Sarah Sumpter (10,000) and Krista Drechsler (10,000). Chapman will run the 200 on Friday while Emily Bush (pole vault) will also compete that day. Alycia Cridebring (5,000) and Ashley Hearn(discus) will be in action on Saturday.
Sumpter enters the prelim meet ranked 12th - highest among the Aggie women - in the 10,000 after winning the event convincingly at the Big West Championships and setting a meet record in the process. She also captured the 5,000 at the conference meet but will focus on the longer race in the postseason. The top 12 finishers in Thursday's race at 5:10 p.m. (PDT) will advance to Iowa.
Peterson is ranked 11th in the 5,000 for the men's top ranking and will race on Saturday at 1:45 p.m. (PDT). He holds the school record in the event and captured that event along with the 1,500 at the Big West Championships.
The prelim meets feature the top 48 regional competitors in each event with between nine and 16 individuals in each qualifying for the NCAA Finals.
Alycia Cridebring (5,000)