|Two Jaspers Headed to NCAA East Regional Championships|
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - The first round of the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, the East Regional, will be held this weekend at Indiana University's Robert C. Haugh Track & Field Complex. Two Manhattan College athletes have qualified for the competition. Malin Olsson (Malmo, Sweden) will compete in the women's long jump, while Colin Quirke (Los Gatos, Calif.) qualified in the men's discus. Brian McGovern (Yonkers, N.Y.) also qualified in the men's pole vault, but will not compete due to injury.
Olsson's bronze medal-winning jump of 6.12 meters (20 feet, one inch) at the Penn Relays was the 33rd-best mark in the East Region this season. With that leap, she became just the second Manhattan woman ever to break the 20-foot barrier outdoors. Olsson later won both the long jump and triple jump at the MAAC Outdoor Championships. During the indoor season, she just missed qualifying for the NCAA Indoor Championships with a school-record distance of 6.24 m (20'5¾).
Quirke has the 14th best discus throw in the region this season, a toss of 54.86 m (180'0) that he set while winning the gold medal at the MAAC Championships. That mark moved him into second place on Manhattan's all-time list. Quirke also won the shot put at the MAAC Outdoor Championships and shared Most Outstanding Performer for Field Events honors with teammate Roman Ewald (Olching, Germany). This marks the third straight year in which Quirke will throw the discus at an NCAA Regional meet. He competed at Regionals twice while at the University of Oklahoma.
The women's long jump takes place at 1 p.m. on Thursday, while the men's discus will be held at 5 p.m. on Saturday. In each event, the top 16 competitors after three attempts will move into the finals, where they will receive an additional three attempts. The top 12 finishers then move on to the NCAA Championships at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, from June 8-11.
A total of 96 athletes (48 per region) are selected to compete at the NCAA Regionals in each event based on their performances during the season. The East Region consists of all schools east of the Mississippi River, while those institutions west of the Mississippi are part of the West Region. In all events, the top 12 finishers at both the East and West Regionals advance to the NCAA Championships.