The field for the NCAA Preliminary Rounds was announced and two Titans will be heading to Greensboro, NC, to compete in the East Region: senior Brittany Horne (Okemos, Mich./Okemos) and junior Lesley Hanna (Exuma, Bahamas/Coakley). The event will take place at the Irwin Bell Track on the campus of North Carolina A&T State University from May 27-29.
“This is very exciting for both athletes to have a chance to go and compete with some of the best athletes in the world,” said head coach Guy Murray. “Brittany has been great all year and it is a well deserving way to finish her Titan career, while Lesley has really come back from some lingering injuries to push himself to get this far.”
Horne, the reigning Horizon League Outstanding Field Event Performer after winning the hammer and discus at the HL Outdoor Championships, will represent the women in the hammer. She won that event in a school and conference record toss of 61.30m/201’ 1” at the HL outdoor meet, a heave that currently ranks 14th in NCAA and seventh in the East Region. The Titan thrower will now compete in the field of 48 with the top 12 advancing to the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The hammer will get under way on Friday.
“Brittany has competed at a high level all year and if she keeps throwing the way she has been, she will be right in the thick of things with a great chance to go back to Oregon for the championships,” said Murray.
Hanna will run in the 400-meters as he currently stands 49th in the East Region, and 96th in the nation, with a career best time of 47.16, achieved at last week’s Georgia Tech Invitational. Hanna, who will be seeded 41st in the event, earned second team all-conference accolades at the league meet after clocking a 47.37. In his career he has also won the HL 400m indoor as a sophomore and has been runner-up in both the indoor 200m and 4x400m.
The 400m 48-man field will include the likes of current world event leader Calvin Smith of Florida (44.81) as well as Tavaris Tate (44.86) of Mississippi State and Kirani James (45.81) of Alabama, who rank third and fifth, respectively, in the world in the 400m. The event will start on Thursday with the running of the first round, while the quarter-finals will take place on Friday to trim the competitors down to 12 for the national championships.
“Lesley is healthy right now and running great,” said Murray. “His field is tough with some of the top runners in the world, but he is a strong competitor who will go out there and give it his all.”