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Cougars Set for NCAA Preliminary Round

Cougars Set for NCAA Preliminary Round

NCAA West Preliminary Headquarters

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – The SIUE track and field teams will have five athletes represented at the NCAA West Preliminaries in Sacramento, California, May 24-26.

There is a west and east preliminary first round. The top 12 athletes out of the 48 competing in each event for each regional will then compete at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon, June 6-9.

"This weekend's competition is different than any meet we've had all season," SIUE Head Coach Scott Block said. "There will only be three attempts with no finals and the competition level will be extremely high."

The SIUE athletes headed to the NCAA First Round are Julian Harvey, Martinus Mitchell, Nick Matthews, Brittney Gibbs and Nichyria Byrd.

Harvey will be the 12th seed in the long jump (25 feet, 8.75 inches) and 26th seed in the high jump (6-11.75) at the regional. At the 2018 Ohio Valley Conference Outdoor Championships, Harvey won the Male MVP of the Championships after placing first in the long and triple jumps, second in the high jump and third in the 100m. Harvey also was awarded the OVC Co-Field Athlete of the Year.

There will be two SIUE men's throwers headed to Sacramento in Mitchell and Matthews. Mitchell is the 28th seed in the shot put (59-8.25) and 41st in the discus (177-10). Mitchell broke the SIUE outdoor shot put record this season and was the 2018 OVC outdoor shot put champion. Matthews will be seeded 33rd in the hammer throw (203-10) and was the 2018 OVC outdoor hammer throw champion.

Gibbs heads into the first round seeded 39th in the triple jump (41-6.5). She placed second in the triple jump at the 2018 OVC Outdoor Championships.

Byrd will be competing in the long jump and is seeded 45th (19-11.5). She broke the SIUE outdoor long jump record this season and placed third in the long jump at the 2018 OVC Outdoor Championships.

"We have been preparing for this scenario for the past few weeks," added Block. "I am confident our student-athletes will be able to compete with the best in the country."

The NCAA Preliminary Round will begin Thursday with the men's 400m hurdles. The meet is set to wrap up Saturday with the men's triple jump.