May 26, 2013
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Sophomores Sam McEntee (Perth, Australia) and Rob Denault (Aurora, Ont.) each qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 1500 meters during the NCAA East Regional at Aggie Stadium on Saturday night. Both move on to the national semifinals in Eugene, Ore. next month. The national meet will be held at Hayward Field from June 5-8.
Denault ran in the first of two quarterfinal heats and crossed the finish line in a personal best time of 3:41.58. He came in sixth in his heat and advanced on time to the NCAA Championships. Each of the first six runners across the finish line in Denault's heat had times that were faster than the previous top performance at an East Regional meet.
In the second heat McEntee came in fourth in 3:48.06 and automatically qualified for the semifinals. He and freshman Jordy Williamsz (Melbourne, Australia) moved through the pack midway through the race and were in second and third place, respectively, at the start of the bell lap.
The pack was still tight at that point and Williamsz placed sixth in the heat by a mere three-hundredths of a second. Less than half a second separated the first six runners in the heat in fact, while the next finisher was nearly a full second behind Williamsz. His time was 3:48.15, while Rich Peters of Boston University claimed the final qualifying spot with a time of 3:48.12.
McEntee and Denault will join junior Samuel Ellison (Dresher, Pa.) at the NCAA Championships. Ellison advanced to the national semifinals in the 800 meters with a third place finish in his quarterfinal heat last night.