Dykstra, Evans Qualify for NCAA National Championships

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – University of Kentucky freshman Raymond Dykstra and sophomore Andrew Evans each punched their tickets Thursday to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships with their performances in the men’s javelin and discus, respectively, on a hot and sunny day at Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla., home of the NCAA East Preliminary round.

Competing on the opening day of the NCAA East Preliminary, Dykstra and Evans led UK with eighth-place finishes in each of their respective events to advance to Des Moines, Iowa, home of the NCAA National Championships, which will take place from June 6-9.

Dykstra threw well under pressure Thursday and qualified for the NCAA National Championships with a mark of 222-09/67.91m. With the top-16 marks advancing out of the first round and into the finals of the east preliminary, Dykstra was right on the edge, sitting in 16th heading into his final throw. Wanting to give himself a little cushion, the Second Team All-Southeastern Conference performer and SEC All-Freshman Team selection in the javelin threw a mark of 216-01/65.88m to move up to 13th and advance to the finals.

Dykstra’s best mark of the day came on his second attempt in the finals, throwing 222-09/67.91m, which wound up being the eighth-best mark overall and earned him a place in the NCAA National Championships.

Evans, the SEC men’s discus champion, advanced to the NCAA National Championships with a final mark of 182-07-55.67m in the discus. Evans was consistent throughout his day, throwing qualifying marks in five of his six throws and over 177 feet in each of those throws. Evans’ final mark, which came on his final throw, was the eighth-best mark at the east preliminary.

Sophomore Isiah Kent also competed in the men’s discus, finishing 20th with a mark of 170-07/51.99m.

Two-time All-SEC Freshman Team selection Keilah Tyson advanced to the NCAA East Preliminary finals of the 100m dash by finishing third in her heat and 11th overall with a time of 11.57. In the east preliminary, the top three times of each heat advance to the finals, as well as the next nine fastest times overall that were not in the top three of their respective heat. Tyson will compete in the east preliminary 100m finals on Friday at 6:45 p.m. ET. The top 12 times in the finals will advance to the NCAA National Championships. Tyson will also compete in the women’s 200m dash on Friday at 8:25 p.m. ET, and is scheduled to compete in the women’s 4x100m relay on Saturday at 6:15 p.m. Joining Tyson in the 4x100m relay is freshman Tamyah Pipkin, sophomore Julie Nunn and sophomore Kayla Parker. Junior sprinter Shiara Robinson will serve as an alternate on the team.

Senior thrower Jennifer Svoboda finished 18th in the women’s shot put on Thursday. Svoboda finished 2.75 inches outside of the top 16, which would have advanced her to the finals of the east preliminary. Svoboda finishes her UK career with the fifth-best shot put mark in school history, throwing 51-11.75 at the Jesse Owens Classic as a freshman.

Senior distance runner Josh Nadzam finished 22nd overall in the men’s 1,500-meter run with a time of 3:49.45. In the first round of the men’s 1,500m, the top five times from each of the four heats advances to the finals, plus the next four fastest times overall that were not among their respective heat’s top five. Nadzam finished eighth in his heat, and was 0.78 seconds behind the fourth-fastest time that didn’t automatically qualify.

Sophomore Allison Peare finished seventh in her heat of the women’s 800m, and 39th overall, with a time of 2:10.58. The highlight of Peare’s sophomore campaign came at the SEC Outdoor Championships, where she ran the fifth-fastest 800m in school history, crossing the finish line in 2:06.03.

Freshman Terence Boyd finished 43rd in the men’s long jump Thursday with a mark of 21-11.50/6.69m. Boyd recorded his mark on his first attempt, and faulted on his next two jumps. The Fort Worth, Texas, native will compete again Friday in the men’s triple jump at 4:30 p.m. Boyd enters the event with a career-best mark of 50-00.50/15.25m from the Texas Roadhouse Border Battle Kentuckiana meet.

Senior Terri-Ann Grant will begin the women’s high jump at 5:00 p.m. Friday. Grant enters with the 14th-best mark in the region, eclipsing 5-11.25/1.81m at the Texas Relays.

Parker will race in the first round of the women’s 100m hurdles at 5:30 p.m. Friday looking to improve upon her career-best time of 13.72.

Junior distance runner Luis Orta will compete Friday at 8:50 p.m. in the 3,000m steeplechase. A Second Team All-SEC selection in the steeplechase this year, Orta enters Friday’s competition with the ninth-best time in the region, and the second-fastest time in UK history, running 8:45.77 at the SEC Outdoor Championships to finish second.

Also on Friday is the quarterfinal of the women’s 100m dash at 6:45 p.m.

The final day of competition at the NCAA East Preliminary will feature Kentucky’s 4x100m relay team at 6:15 p.m., and the quarterfinals of the women’s 200m dash and the quarterfinals of the women’s 100m hurdles.

In outdoor track and field, the country is divided into two regions, the east and west. The top 48 individuals of each event from each region, excluding the heptathlon and decathlon, qualified for the preliminary round, while the top 24 relay teams from each region qualified for the preliminaries. In the preliminaries, the top-12 finishers from each event qualify for the NCAA Outdoor National Championships, held this year in Des Moines, Iowa, from June 6-9.

A complete list of which Kentucky student-athletes are scheduled to compete in what events and at what times is listed below, as well as results from Thursday’s competition. All student-athletes and start times are subject to change. All times listed are eastern. Live results of the meet will be available each day at UKathletics.com.

For all Kentucky track and field news and information, including daily recaps and results from the NCAA East Preliminary, follow the men’s and women’s teams on Twitter at “KentuckyTrack” and go to UKathletics.com.

NCAA East Preliminary
Hodges Stadium – Jacksonville, Fla.
May 24-26, 2012

Thursday’s Results
Men’s Javelin (First Round and Quarterfinals)
8. Raymond Dykstra – 222-09/67.91m (Q)

Men’s Long Jump (First Round)
43. Terence Boyd – 21-11.50/6.69m

Men’s Discus (First Round and Quarterfinals)
8. Andrew Evans – 182-07/55.67m (Q)

Men’s Discus (First Round)
20. Isiah Kent – 170-07/51.99m

Women’s Shot Put (First Round)
18. Jennifer Svoboda – 50-01.75/15.28m

Men’s 1,500m Run (First Round)
22. Josh Nadzam – 3:49.45

Women’s 100m Dash (First Round)
11. Keilah Tyson – 11.57 (Q)

Women’s 800m Run (First Round)
39. Allison Peare – 2:10.58

Friday’s Lineup
Men’s Triple Jump (First Round) – 4:30 p.m.
Terence Boyd

Women’s High Jump (First Round) – 5:00 p.m.
Terri-Ann Grant

Women’s 100m Hurdles (First Round) – 5:30 p.m.
Kayla Parker

Women’s 100m Dash (Quarterfinals) – 6:45 p.m.
Keilah Tyson

Women’s 200m Dash (First Round) – 8:25 p.m.
Keilah Tyson

Men’s 3,000m Steeplechase (Quarterfinals) – 8:50 p.m.
Luis Orta

Saturday’s Lineup
Women’s 4x100m Relay (Quarterfinals) – 6:15 p.m.

Women’s 100m Hurdles (Quarterfinals) – 7:20 p.m.
*Kayla Parker

Women’s 200m Dash (Quarterfinals) – 7:50 p.m.
*Keilah Tyson

* = Pending qualification for quarterfinals