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Courtesy: CAA
W&M Emily Stites

Four Advance to NCAA Track & Field Championships on Final Day of NCAA East Regional

Courtesy: CAA
          Release: 05/25/2013
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GREENSBORO, N.C. (May 25, 2013) – Two CAA student-athletes and two relay squads advanced to the NCAA Championship finals on the final day of the  NCAA Eastern Preliminaries in Greensboro, N.C. On the men’s side, Northeastern junior Eric Jenkins and the George Mason 4x400 meter relay squad advanced to the NCAA Championship. On the women’s side, William & Mary’s Emily Stites and the Patriots 4x400m relay squad moved on to the finals.

Jenkins picked up an eight place finish in the 5,000m to advance to the NCAA finals. The Portsmouth, N.H. native ran a 14:05.25 to win the second heat. Jenkins, the top seed in the event, will be competing in his first career NCAA Championship.

The men’s 4x400m Patriot relay team of Angel Coburn, Adrian Vaughn, DaQuan Smalls and David Verburg placed fifth in the second heat of the event and 11th overall in a season-best time of 3:07.36, giving them one of the three non-AQ times to advance to the finals.

Stites continued to impress in her rookie season as she caught and passed a rival on the home stretch to earn the fifth and final automatic qualifying spot in her heat of the 5,000m.  Stites ran 16:12.82 to survive and advance, the seventh-fastest time ever at W&M.  Her appearance at the NCAA Finals next week will make her the first true-freshman in W&M track and field history (men or women) to earn a pair of All-America honors.  She is one of just seven freshmen women in the entire NCAA to advance in any race 800m-10,000m, and will be seeded ninth in the championship finals.

The Mason 4x400m relay team of Daianna Barron, Cierra McGee, Taylor Wheaton and Dominique Graham took the final automatic qualifying spot in the women’s 4x400m relay, placing third in heat three and ninth overall with a time of 3:35.84.

The four qualified CAA student-athletes and two relay squads will now set their sights on the NCAA Outdoor T&F Championships June 5-8 at Track Town USA in Eugene, Ore.