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11 Yellow Jackets Headed to NCAA East Regional Preliminaries

Meet Info /// Schedule of Events /// Men’s Heat Sheet /// Women’s Heat Sheet /// Live Results /// Live Streaming

THE FLATS – 11 Georgia Tech track & field student-athletes are headed to Jacksonville this week for the 2021 NCAA Division I East Regional Preliminaries being held at Hodges Stadium at the University of North Florida from May 26-29. Eight women and three men will make the trip to The Sunshine State qualifying in their respective events throughout the 2021 outdoor season.

The complete list of participants is available here. For more information regarding the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships, click or tap here. 12 athletes will qualify for NCAA Division I National Championships in each individual event.

The Yellow Jackets open the week up on Wednesday, with Brian Hauch taking on the men’s pole vault and true freshman Alex Thomas toeing the line for the men’s 800m. Hauch ranks 24th in the East Region having cleared a height of 5.18m/17′ 0″ at the Torrin Lawrence Memorial Meet at the end of April. Thomas is rated No. 33 in the region in the 800m, having clocked in at 1:49.09 also at UGA in late April. Hauch kicks off the week for Tech at 3 p.m. (EST), while Thomas closes out day one at 7:50 p.m. (EST).

Thursday will see seven Tech women lace it up for competition. Taylor Grimes and senior Bria Matthews face the women’s long jump at 3 p.m. (EST) to start the day. Matthews is No. 4 in the East & No. 12 in NCAA Div. I in the long jump having hit a mark of 6.58m/21′ 7.25″ at UGA to close out the regular season. At ACC Championships Matthews collected a silver medal for her performance in the long jump. Grimes holds the No. 16 spot in the East, owning a 6.39m/20′ 11.75″ achieved at the Torrin Lawrence Memorial Meet. Simultaneously at 3 p.m. (EST) Olivia Moore will compete in the women’s pole vault, entering the meet with the No. 19 mark in the East, having posted a 4.17m/13′ 8.25″ height at the Crimson Tide Invite in early April. At 6 p.m. (EST) Grimes returns to the track having earned a spot in the 100 hurdle event, owning the 41st best time at 13.43 that was obtained at the Georgia Tech Invite in mid-April.

Later in in the evening on Thursday a trio of Jackets will swarm the women’s 10K, with Nicole Fegans, Liz Galarza and Mary Claire Solomon leading the charge at 9:10 p.m. (EST). After capturing the ACC women’s 10K title backed by a 32:45.30 effort Fegans currently has the third best mark in the East Region. That time was good for No. 7 in the nation. Galarza (34:14.31) and Solomon (34:24.70) are ranked 35th and 41st, respectively, in the East.

Friday sees another true freshman male putting on the White & Gold, as John Watkins is listed to jump in the men’s triple jump at 3:15 p.m. (EST). Watkins leapt for a mark of 15.61m/51′ 2.75″ at the Crimson Tide Invite to give him the 30th best jump in the East. Thomas has the potential to also see some action on Friday if he is able to advance to the 800m finals, which will begin at approx. 7:35 p.m. (EST).

The final day of competition on Saturday begins at 1 p.m. (EST), as true freshmen Carla du Plessis & Shanty Papakosta look to compete in the women’s high jump. Papakosta (1.79m/5′ 10.5″) is rated No. 14 in the East, while du Plessis (1.76m/5′ 9.25″) is ranked No. 28 in the Region.

At 3:15 p.m. (EST) Matthews is back at it in the women’s triple jump event. She also captured a silver medal in this event at ACC’s off of a 13.61m/44′ 8″ jump, good for the No. 5 mark regional and No. 9 nationally.

Grimes could be back on the track Saturday, with the potential to compete in the 100 hurdle finals at 6:45 p.m. (EST). Fegans and Galarza are expected to follow up their 10K on Thursday with both listed to line up in the women’s 5K at 8:30 p.m. (EST) to finish off the meet.

Across the country the preliminary competitions are scheduled for May 26-29.  The University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida will host the East Preliminary and Texas A&M University, in College Station, Texas will host the West Preliminary.  The qualifiers out of these two regions will compete in the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships held June 9-12 in Eugene, Oregon.

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