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Track Preps For NCAA Regional Meet

May 23, 2006

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BOULDER- The University of Colorado will send 15 members of the track & field team to compete in 12 events this Friday and Saturday, May 26-27, at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships at the Mike Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas.


            In the field of qualifiers from the states of Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming, the top five finishers in each individual event this weekends and the top three relay teams in each race, will automatically advance to the NCAA Championships. In addition, a national "at-large field' will be created from the sixth through eighth place individual finishers and fourth through sixth relay teams, based on a year long descending order list to fill the NCAA Championship fields in each event area.


            Amberly Casey will kick off action for the Buffs in the long jump on Friday. It will follow the men's long jump, which starts at 2 p.m. (CT). Carly Newlands, who owns the seventh-best shot put throw in the region at 51-00.75, will compete at 3 p.m.


            Brent Vaughn is the only member of the CU travel party with a regional title to defend in the 5,000 meters. He owns the second best time (13:44.79) in the region behind teammate Bret Schoolmeester, who is not competing this weekend.        


Also entered for this weekend's competition are Chris Abuan (400/19th), Payton Batliner (Steeple/19th), Anthony Chiulli (1500/2nd), Pete Janson (Steeple/3rd), Chris Pannone (5000/13th), Stephen Pifer (1500/1st) and George Pincock (200/16th). Ryan Campbell, Sam Napp, Abuan and Pincock will compete in the 4x100-m relay and Napp, Pincock, Abuan and Nate Terry will combine for the 4x400. Pifer and Janson each earned their first Big 12 Championship titles in their respective events.


"Stephen and Brent are both going in to the meet with the fastest entry times means we can feel a little more confident about them making it (NCAA Championship), but this meet is different from other meets in that its really just a stepping stone," head coach Mark Wetmore said. "And so sometimes strategies are different that the Big 12. Stephen will be trying hard to be in the top five, but not trying to develop a strategy to win.


"In Brent's case we have to be careful. He had some heat trouble in the Big 12s and that just makes me kind of nervous. He will probably be more conservative."


Besides Casey and Newlands on the women's side, freshmen Liza Pasciuto and Jenny Barringer will make up the team. Pasciuto owns the fifth best time in the 5,000, while Barringer has the third best time in the steeplechase.


Christine Bolf and Schoolmeester are the only two Buffs that have already qualified for the NCAA Championship. They picked up NCAA qualifying times in the 10,000 meters as the 10k is not run at the regional meet. The heptathlon and decathlon are the only other events that have NCAA qualifying marks and are not done at regionals.


The NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships are June 6-10 at the Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex in Sacramento.