Day One: ETSU's Stepp Advances to NCAA Championships

Thursday, May 23, 2013

GREENSBORO, N.C. – ETSU's Tyler Stepp achieved his personal best on the biggest stage of his career with a second-place leap of 7.79m in the men’s long jump at the NCAA East Region Preliminaries on Thursday at Irwin Belk Track inside of Aggie Stadium on the North Carolina A&T State University campus.

Stepp’s second-place standing advances him, and the other top-11 marks in the event, to the NCAA Championships hosted by the University of Oregon in Eugene, Ore., June 5-8, at Hayward Field.

The other two-thirds of the men’s long jump trio did not experience similar successes. Diego Lawrence (Waxhaw, N.C.) registered a mark of 6.92m to finish 35th overall, while Ryan Beaver (Virginia Beach, Va.) did not score in the event.

Unfortunately, speedster Ifrish Alberg (Paramaribo, Suriname) did not participate in the men’s 100m dash due to a medical issue. This development nixed ETSU’s fortune of hopefully advancing their top-two competitors to the NCAA Championships on day one at the Prelims.

Lipscomb junior sprinter Tucker Peabody finished sixth in the 100-meter dash. Peabody crossed the finish line in 10.55 seconds but was not quick enough to move on to the quarter final round.

Gilbert Kemboi and Cameron Thomas of USC Upstate competed in a pair of evening races. The Upstate seniors wrapped up their successful careers as Spartans as Thomas competed in the 800-meter and Kemboi participated in the 10,000-meter nightcap race. This marked the first trip to the NCAA East Prelims for Thomas and second-straight appearance for Kemboi.

Thomas crossed the line 37th overall in the 800-meter, clocking in at 1:51.94, while finishing sixth in the third heat. He set the program record in the event at the Atlantic Sun Conference Championships this season with an A-Sun meet record time of 1:49.29.

In his second trip to the East Prelims in as many years, Kemboi posted a time of 30:15.18 in the 10K to finish in 17th-place. He improved on his time from last year's preliminary round, where he clocked in at 30:43.24 for 15th.

Jacksonville's pair of harriers, Joane Pierre and Bienna Freeman showed a strong performance in the 800m as Freeman crossed the line 11th and Pierre finished 12th. Latonya Payne competed in the 400m hurdles where she finished 42nd overall.

Competing in the discus Kree Clark recorded a throw of 46.81 to place 23rd.

A-Sun MVP, Andre Dorsey of Kennesaw State and his teammate Rasmus Rooks competed in the long jump where Dorsey finished 20th overall with a leap of 7.17m and Rooks ended 27th.

The Owls had two freshmen competing in the women's 100m in Alicia Whittle and Hannah Wood. Whittle marked a time 11.72 for 38th in the event and Wood followed with a time of 11.86 for 44th.