Long and Smith Advance on Opening Day of NCAA East Preliminaries
JACKSONVILLE – UMBC seniors Dennison Long (Greenbelt, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt/FIU) and Andrew Smith (Chadds Ford, Pa./Garnet Valley) advanced out of the preliminary round of the 100m dash and 800m run, respectively, on the first day of the NCAA East Preliminaries, Thursday at the University of North Florida's Hodges Stadium.
Looking to advance to his second NCAA Championships of 2014, Smith placed fourth in the sixth and final heat of the 800m evet, but recorded the tenth-fastest time of the event to advance to the quarterfinals to be held tomorrow. The senior clocked in with a time of 1:48.63 which clips his previous school record of 1:48.72 set during the prelims at the 2014 IC4A Championships on May 17.
Smith ran in the 800m run at the indoor championships back in March and could become the fourth Retriever athlete in program history to compete in both national meets in the same calendar year if he finishes inside the top-12 tomorrow.
Long, meanwhile, placed second in the sixth and final heat of the 100m dash to earn a spot in the event quarterfinals on Friday. The senior sprinter recorded a time of 10.53 to move on and continue his chase for a spot at the national championships in Oregon. Long will also compete in the prelims of the 200m dash on Friday in Jacksonville.
Sophomore Vincent Rentzsch (Oranienburg, Germany/Elite Sportschule Potsdam) participated in the javelin throw and finished in 44th. After over a month of rest, Rentzsch was attempting to make it to the NCAA Championships for the second consecutive year and registered a top throw of 56.36m (184'11") on the day.
Chris Caper of Robert Morris posted the top throw of the competition with a heave of 73.09m (239'9) while Louisiana Tech's Joshua Cox earned the final national qualifying spot with a top throw of 66.39m (217'9").
The 2014 NCAA East Preliminaries will pick back up on Friday morning with the men's hammer throw set to commence at 10:00 a.m. The men's 110m hurdles will kick off the track events at 5:00 p.m. with UMBC senior Trae Proctor (Brandywine, Md./Thomas Stone) set to run in heat five.