GREENSBORO, N.C. – Duke senior Jade Ellis leapt 24-3.75, winning his flight and placing third overall to earn an automatic bid to the 2009 NCAA Championships June 10-13 in Fayetteville, Ark. His performance highlighted the Blue Devils’ first day of competition at the East Regional on the campus of North Carolina A&T Friday in Greensboro.
Ellis holds the school record in both the long jump and the triple jump, winning the ACC title in the long jump earlier this outdoor season. The senior will return to compete in the triple jump tomorrow. He now joins teammate Tyler Clarke at the NCAAs, where the fellow senior will compete in the decathlon.
The 1500m saw Duke qualify a runner in both the men’s and women’s races for tomorrow’s finals, with senior Molly Lehman clocking 4:20.58 to take second in her heat and fifth overall, while sophomore Cory Nanni took second in his heat and seventh overall on the men’s side in 3:46.97. Each will return tomorrow in the finals with a shot at advancing to the national meet.
The women’s 800m saw Devotia Moore take 11th (2:10.49), Leslie Morrison in 19th (2:12.43), and Esther Vermeer in 23rd (2:15.15). Christy Adamyk raced to 29th place in the 5K as she stopped the clock at 17:07.23.
To advance to nationals, a student-athlete may earn an automatic slot with a top-five finish in each of the regional meets. Additionally, the 6th-12th places in each event in the regions will be pooled to determine the remaining at-large bids, to be announced Monday.
Competition resumes Saturday in the field at 5 p.m. with Mike Schallmo taking to the discus. Ellis will then come back from his try in the long jump to compete in the triple jump also at 5 p.m. Saturday’s running events will feature the finals of the men’s and women’s steeplechase, where senior Patricia Loughlin will go in the women’s at 7:15 p.m., followed by sophomore Ryan McDermott for the men at 7:40 p.m. Nanni and Lehman will also come back in the finals of the 1500 beginning at 5:20 p.m.
The 2009 outdoor track & field season will continue past this weekend for those athletes that qualify for nationals. The 2009 NCAA Outdoor Championships are set for June 10-13 in Fayetteville, Ark.