DURHAM – Duke track and field has qualified 38 athletes to compete in the NCAA East Regional meet, as the NCAA announced the field for the East Preliminary round Thursday afternoon. The four-day meet, hosted by University of North Florida, will take place in Jacksonville, Fla., from May 24-27 at Hodges Stadium.
The regional features qualifiers with the top-48 marks in the nation (following injury or withdrawal), with the only exception being the top-24 times for relays and direct qualification for the top-24 in multi-events (heptathlon and decathlon). The top-24 from each event across the two regionals will advance to NCAA Outdoor Championships in Austin, Texas.
Ten Blue Devils enter the East Regional with top-10 rankings in their respective events. Graduate student Robbie Otal leads the charge for the Duke men with the fourth-farthest discus throw in the nation. Classmate Nick Dahl also ranks in the top 10 of the men’s 1500m field, checking in at No. 8 with a time of 3:39.31.
On the women’s side, senior Halle Bieber along with sophomores Abby Geiser, Amina Maatoug and Megan McGinnis are names to watch as the quartet aims to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in multiple events. McGinnis has enjoyed a breakout sophomore campaign, most recently winning gold in the 400 and silver in the 200 at the ACC Outdoor Championships this past weekend. The Roanoke, Va., native enters the regional ranked No. 6 in the 400 and is also a member of the No. 2-seeded women’s 4×400 relay along with graduate student Madison Mulder and freshmen Julia Jackson and Lauren Tolbert.
Bieber, Geiser and Maatoug all look to continue their strong seasons and carry momentum into the NCAA East Regional following successful ACC Outdoor Championship performances. The duo of Bieber and Geiser is set to take part in three events – the 100, 200 and women’s 4×100 relay. At the ACC Championship meet this past weekend, Geiser notched a silver medal in the 100-dash while Bieber collected a pair of bronze medals in the 100 and 200 events. Maatoug also collected a silver medal in the 1500 with a runner-up finish in the event.
The other Blue Devils ranking in the top 10 of the East Region in their respective events are Dana Baker (No. 4 – Javelin), Paige Sommers (No. 7 – Pole Vault) and Emily Cole (No. 8 – 3000m…
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