Sunday, May 31, 2009

University of Albany's Joe Greene & Ricardo Estremera Qualify for NCAAs at East Regional Track & Field Championship - UAlbany Sports 2009

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Greensboro, N.C. – University at Albany’s Joe Greene placed third in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles and Ricardo Estremera finished fifth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the NCAA East Regional Track & Field Championship on Saturday, May 30. The two-day competition was held at North Carolina A&T State University’s Irwin Belk Track. Each athlete automatically qualified for the NCAA Division I Championship at the University of Arkansas on June 10-13.

Greene, a senior who qualified for NCAA nationals for the third time in the last four years, covered the track in 50.21 seconds. South Carolina’s Johnny Dutch set a facility record in hitting the tape first in 48.77, while Georgia’s Justin Gaymon was second in 49.22.

“My main goal was to make the top five,” said Greene, who did not compete last year due to a leg injury. “This matched my highest finish at the regionals, but I know I need to go back to practice and the drawing board to focus on what I need to work on.”

Estremera, whose right shoe was damaged in the opening meters of the steeplechase, ran a finishing time of 8:52.76. A two-time America East champion in the event, he remained in the top five of the fastest section the entire race and posted the second-fastest mark in school history.

“I was really nervous,” Estremera explained. “I was elbowed in the chest and my stomach, and somebody spiked me in my right foot and sliced open the shoe. I took the lead in the race to avoid the crowd. My foot was coming out of my spike at the water jump, but I knew this was my last chance to make it to NCAAs. I didn’t give up and held on. I was in pain throughout the race, but I stayed optimistic and positive until the end of the race to accomplish my goal.”

Greene’s anchor leg in the 4x400-meter relay helped the Great Danes finish fourth and shatter the school record. His 45-second split caught the Georgia squad in the last five meters, as UAlbany won its section in 3:06.89. The previous standard of 3:08.86 had been previously established twice and was last set in April at the Florida Relays. Jeffrey Barnes, Joe Belokopitsky and Alie Beauvais ran the opening three legs. UAlbany could still make the NCAA field when the at-large selections are announced on Tuesday.

In addition, Beauvais took seventh in 400-hurdles in 51.53. Beauvais’ best mark this season of 49.99 ranked sixth in the nation entering this weekend’s four regional meets, which puts him in a solid position to earn an at-large bid. Kamilah McShine earned All-East recognition in the women’s 400-hurdles by finishing eighth in 1:02.64 in will also be placed in the at-large pool.

Mike McCadney advanced to the finals of the triple jump and placed seventh with a leap of 51-feet, 3.25-inches to garner All-East honors. The performance eclipsed his own school record of 51-3 set at the IC4A championship two weeks ago. Luke Schoen, who tied for ninth in the pole vault by clearing 16-feet, 7.25-inches in his first competition since the Penn Relays, will be an at-large candidate in a bid for his second straight national championship berth. His top mark of 17-6.50 ranked tied for 12th in the nation heading into this weekend’s regional competition.

“This whole year has been very exciting, and we expect to be taking our largest group of athletes to the NCAA championship,” offered UAlbany coach Roberto Vives, whose program ended up 10th in the team standings and scored 21 points, both program bests in the regionals. “All of our student-athletes really stepped up to compete.”


NCAA East Regional Track & Field Championship

Men’s Standings (51 scoring teams): 1. Florida 84, 2. South Carolina 62, 3. Georgia 59, 4. Florida State 51, 5. Georgia Tech 41, 6. Virginia 29, 7. Virginia Tech 26.50, 8. Cornell 26, 9. Clemson 23, 10. UAlbany 21.

UAlbany Men’s Results

400-Meter Intermediate Hurdles (Finals): 3. Joe Greene 50.21 (All-East), 7. Alie Beauvais 51.53 (All-East). 3,000-Meter Steeplechase: 5. Ricardo Estremera 8:52.76 (All-East). Triple Jump: 7. Mike McCadney 51-3.25. (All-East, School Record). Pole Vault: T-9. Luke Schoen 16-7.25. 4x400-Meter Relay: 4. UAlbany (Jeffery Barnes, Joe Belokopitsky, Alie Beauvais, Joe Greene), 3:06.89 (All-East, School Record).

UAlbany Women’s Results

400-Meter Intermediate Hurdles (Finals): 8. Kamilah McShine 1:02.64 (All-East). 3,000-Meter Steeplechase: 20. Laura Cummings 10:53.90. Triple Jump: 16. Jenn Gurrant 40-7.50.

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