Florida Track & Field Teams To NCAAs

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The No. 11 University of Florida men's track and field team and the women's squad will travel to the west coast looking to extend each team's streak of top-10 finishes at the 2006 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships from June 7-10 at the Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex.

The men's squad enters the competition with eight individual entries and one relay. The Gators have ended the meet inside the top 10 in each of the last four seasons and in six of the last seven years. The women are riding a four-year streak of finishing in the top 10 and have done so six times in head coach Tom Jones' tenure.

The men's team, coming off a runner-up finish at the East Regional Championships, will boast seven athletes competing in eight individual events in addition to the 4x100m relay. Senior All-American Shane Stroup (Highland, Md.) will compete in the 1,500m, senior All-American Sekou Clarke (Kingston, Jamaica) will run in the 400m, senior Alex Harris (Tampa, Fla.) will take part in the triple jump, senior Kayne Dakoski (Palm Harbor, Fla.) will compete in the decathlon, junior All-American Mike Morrison (Willingboro, N.J.) made the field in the long jump and high jump, sophomore Wes Stockbarger (Port Charlotte, Fla.) will throw the discus, freshman All-American Willie Perry (Lenoir, N.C.) qualified in both the 100m and 200m, but will run in only the 200m and the Gators will also have a 4x100m relay.

The women's squad had one of its best meets of the outdoor season at the regional meet, with five individual athletes and two relay teams earning automatic bids to the national championships. Senior All-American Nadine Palmer (Manchester, Jamaica), sophomore All-American Lakecia Ealey (Albany, Ga.) and freshman Nene Kamate (Jamaica, N.Y.) led the women's team with two automatic bids each. Palmer and Kamate were both members of the 4x100m relay and 4x400m relay teams, while Ealey led off the 4x100m relay and also qualified in the 100m as an individual. Senior All-American Rachel Longfors (Erhard, Minn.) will make her fourth appearance in the NCAA Outdoor Championships field for the discus, while classmate Jyn Wynn (Douglasville, Ga.) is traveling to her second-straight NCAA meet in the hammer. Fellow senior Dara Altman (Tampa, Fla.) had the team's highest finish at the NCAA East Regional with a runner-up showing in the pole vault, breaking the school record in the process. Freshman Shannon Leinert (Wildwood, Mo.) is the only freshman on the women's roster to qualify for both the NCAA Indoor and NCAA Outdoor Championship meets, punching her ticket to nationals in the 800m. Two others, sophomores Natalie Knight (Snellville, Ga.) and Natalie Moser (Tampa, Fla.) received at-large berths into the championship field in the 200m and pole vault competitions, respectively.

The men are tied for 10th among all the teams in the field with five athletes or relays ranked among the top 10. Stroup, the East Regional 1,500m champion, leads the way as he's second in the event with a top time of 3:40.85. Morrison, despite injuries that continue to hamper him, claimed both the high jump and long jump titles at the East Regional meet and enters NCAAs fourth in the long jump (7.96m/26-1.50) and tied for 10th in the high jump (2.19m/7-2.25).

Perry, who owns the top junior time in the world in 2006 at 20.42 in the 200m, will arrive in Sacramento tied for fifth after finishing fourth in the 200m during the indoor season. Clarke, who took sixth at the indoor NCAA meet in the 400m this year, ranks ninth in the same event with a top time of 45.82.

In his first season of full-fledged competition for the Gators, Dakoski is ranked 17th in the decathlon with a best of 7,303 points, which he earned at the Southeastern Conference Championships by taking third. Harris will compete at NCAAs for the second time in his career and first in the triple jump with a qualifying leap of 15.86m/52-0.50 - a mark that earned him fourth at the regional meet. Stockbarger, who finished fifth in the discus at regionals and 17th at NCAAs in 2005, is ranked 20th in the event with a best of 57.50m/188-8 this season.

The men also have the No. 8 4x100m relay. Sophomore All-American Bernard Middleton (Jacksonville, Fla.), Morrison, Perry and Clarke clocked a season-best time of 39.46 at the Miami Elite Invitational on April 15. Freshman All-American Chris Gilchrist (Broken Arrow, Okla.) and freshman Dennis Martin (Anderson, S.C.) will also make the trip as candidates to run on the 4x100m relay.

For the women, Ealey notched a PR in the semifinals at regionals with a time of 11.42 then finished fifth in the finals with a wind-aided clocking of 11.40 to earn the automatic berth in the 100m. She followed this up by leading off the 4x100m relay team that included Palmer, Kamate and Knight, which placed third in the finals with the seventh-fastest time in school history (44.11).

Wynn took third with the third-best mark of her career to surpass the 199-foot mark (60.87m/199-7) at regionals. Altman took second at regionals with a school-record mark of 4.16m/13-7.75 in the pole vault and is ranked in a tie for eighth among all competitors in the event.

Leinert clocked a PR of 2:06.67 to take third at regionals in the 800m and is one of only five freshmen in the 800m field. Longfors made it a perfect 4-for-4 in the discus for her career in advancing to NCAAs after notching a third-place finish in the regional finals with a toss of 51.67m/169-6. She's ranked ninth in the field in the discus.

The 4x400m relay team of Palmer, Kamate, sophomore All-American Zan Joseph (Boynton Beach, Fla.) and junior Dominique McLeggan (Weston, Fla.) put the finishing touches on the NCAA East Regional by placing third with the fifth-best time in school history, a collective time of 3:31.52. The foursome enters NCAAs ranked seventh.

Knight and Moser were awarded at-large bids when the entire NCAA participant field was announced. At the UTEP Invitational April 15, Knight crossed the finish line in 23.42 - good enough to seed her 24th. That same day, Moser shattered a then-school record in the pole vault with a height of 4.10m/13-5.25 and stands 21st on the declared lists for nationals.

The final two days of the NCAA Outdoor Championships will air live on television. Competition from Friday, June 9, will air live on CSTV at 8 p.m., while the final day's events will air live on CBS at 3:30 p.m. Live results will also be available at www.ncaasports.com.

Schedule of Events

Wednesday, June 7, 2006
Long Jump
Shot Put
High Jump
400 Meters

Field Events
11:00 Hammer Qualifying - M
11:30 Javelin Qualifying - W
3:30 Long Jump Qualifying - W
4:15 High Jump Qualifying - M*
4:30 Discus Qualifying - W*
4:45 Pole Vault Qualifying - M
7:00 High Jump Qualifying - W
7:00 Discus Qualifying - M*
7:15 Long Jump Qualifying - M*

Track Events
3:00 4x100m Semifinal - W*
3:20 4x100m Semifinal - M*
3:40 800m 1st Round - W*
3:55 800m1st Round - M
4:30 100mH 1st Round - W
4:50 110mH 1st Round - M
5:10 200m 1st Round - W*
5:30 200m 1st Round - M*
5:50 400m 1st Round - W
6:10 400m 1st Round - M*
6:30 100mH Semifinal - W
6:45 110mH Semifinal - M
7:00 Steeplechase Semifinal - W
7:25 Steeplechase Semifinal - M
7:50 5,000m Semifinal - W
8:30 5,000m Semifinal - M

Thursday, June 8, 2006

Pole Vault

Field Events
11:00 Hammer Qualifying - W*
1:15 Javelin Qualifying - M
4:30 Pole Vault Qualifying - W*
5:30 Shot Put Qualifying - M
6:30 Long Jump Final - W
6:30 Long Jump Final - M*
7:15 Shot Put Qualifying - W

Track Events
3:30 100m 1st Round - W*
3:50 100m 1st Round - M
4:10 400mH 1st Round - W
4:30 400mH 1st Round - M
4:50 800m Semifinal - W*
5:05 800m Semifinal - M
5:20 100m Semifinal - W*
5:35 100m Semifinal - M
6:00 1,500m Semifinal - W
6:15 1,500m Semifinal - M*
6:30 4x400m Semifinal - W*
6:55 4x400m Semifinal - M
7:20 10,000m Final - W
8:00 10,000m Final - M

Friday, June 9, 2006
10:00 100mH
High Jump
Shot Put

Field Events
Noon Hammer Final - M
1:00 Triple Jump Qualifying - W
1:15 Javelin Final - W
3:00 Triple Jump Qualifying - M*
3:45 Discus Final - W*
3:45 High Jump Final - W
4:30 Pole Vault Final - M
6:15 Discus Final - M*
6:30 High Jump Final - M*

Track Events
4:00 4x100m Final - W*
4:10 4x100m Final - M*
5:00 100mH Final - W
5:15 110mH Final - M
5:25 400m Semifinal - W
5:35 400m Semifinal - M*
5:45 200m Semifinal - W*
5:55 200m Semifinal - M*
6:10 400mH Semifinal - W
6:20 400mH Semifinal - M
6:35 Steeplechase Final - W
7:00 5,000m Final - W
7:30 5,000m Final - M

Saturday, June 10, 2006
Long Jump

Field Events
10:00 Hammer Final - W*
10:00 Javelin Final - M
11:45 Pole Vault Final - W
12:30 Shot Put Final - W
12:30 Shot Put Final - M
12:30 Triple Jump Final - W
12:30 Triple Jump Final - M*

Track Events
12:05 800m Final - W*
12:15 800m Final - M
12:35 100m Final - W*
12:42 100m Final - M
12:52 400mH Final - W
1:02 400mH Final - M
1:10 400m Final - W
1:20 400m Final - M*
1:30 200m Final - W*
1:40 200m Final - M*
1:52 1,500m Final - W
2:04 1,500m Final - M*
2:20 Steeplechase Final - M
2:32 4x400m Final - W*
2:45 4x400m Final - M

All times Pacific

* UF athlete competing in event

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