Outdoor Track Sends Six To East Preliminaries
ALBANY, N.Y. – All team-focused meets have come and gone, leaving only individual considerations remaining for the University at Albany outdoor track program. As such, the roster has been whittled down to a mere six athletes between the men’s and women’s team. These six will compete in the NCAA East Preliminary Championships this week, starting Thursday, May 29 in Jacksonville, Florida for a chance to qualify for the NCAA Division I National Championships.
The six athletes are split evenly with three from the men’s team and three from the women’s team having qualified to compete at East Regionals. The men are sending Alexander Bowen, Nathan Hiett, and Jeremiah Obeng-Agyapong. Kathryn Fanning, Silvia Del Fava, and Tynelle Taylor-Chase will compete for the women.
Bowen will compete in the high jump for the second consecutive year. At last year’s East Regionals, Bowen placed first overall with a mark of 7’-1.5”, eventually placing 11th in his first ever appearance at a collegiate national championship meet. He competed in his second national championships during the most recent indoor season, placing seventh overall with a mark of 7’-2.5”. During the outdoor season, Bowen placed second in the championship section of the high jump at Penn Relays, won America East and IC4A Championships, and placed second at Panama’s National Championships, earning a spot on the Panamanian national team. Bowen’s best mark this season, 7’-2.25”, is the eighth best high jump in the East Region.
Fanning is competing in the 1,500 for the second consecutive year. She set a new school record in the event at America East Outdoor Championships, finishing second with a time of 4:22.81, breaking her own mark by two-hundredths of a second. Fanning also brought down her 800 time to 2:10.55 this season, and split 2:08.93 as the anchor leg on UAlbany’s 4x800 relay that finished second in the college section at Penn Relays. Fanning’s 1,500 is ranked 54th in the East Region.
Hiett, the sole freshman making the trip, is coming off a victory in the pole vault at the America East Outdoor Championships. He led a sweep of the top two places in the event, mirroring the result from Indoor Championships where he placed second behind teammate Alfonso Scannapieco. For his performance, Hiett was named as the men’s Outstanding Rookie at outdoor championships. Hiett’s best mark this season of 16’-8.75” is six inches higher than his best from indoor, and ranks in a tie for 36th in the East Region.
Del Fava will compete in the 10,000 in her first regional championships, an event in which she placed fourth in the championship section at Penn Relays. Her time of 34:13.82 set a new school record, and ranks 26th in the East Region. Del Fava earned victories in the 3,000 and 5,000 at the America East Indoor Championships, and won the 5,000 at the America East Outdoor Championships. During the most recent cross country season, Del Fava became the first UAlbany athlete to compete in the national championship meet.
Obeng-Agyapong will compete in the 400 hurdles, an event in which he placed second at the America East Outdoor Championships. He fifth in the event at IC4A Championships. His best time of 52.02 ranks fourth all-time in UAlbany history. The time is also 33rd in the East Region.
Like Obeng-Agyapong, Taylor-Chase will also compete in the 400 hurdles, making her second consecutive appearance. Taylor-Chase won the 400 hurdles at the America East Outdoor Championships, defending her title from 2013 in a season-best time of 59.70. She also placed second in the 100 hurdles. Taylor-Chase is ranked 51st in the East Region.
Athletes who finish 12th or better in their events qualify to compete in Eugene, Oregon for NCAA Championships, where they will enter a field with the 12 qualifiers from the West Region. Taylor-Chase, Obeng-Agyapong, Fanning, and Del Fava all compete on Thursday in either preliminary or final rounds. Hiett and Bowen will compete on Saturday.