May 29, 2014
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - On the first day of competition at the NCAA East Regional junior Elbert Maxwell (Pittsburgh, Pa.) qualified for the national championships in the long jump. Maxwell recorded a personal best jump of 7.52 meters on his fourth attempt at Hodges Stadium on Thursday evening and finished 11th overall in the long jump to advance to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. next month. He provided the top result on a successful evening of competition for Villanova, which qualified three runners for the national quarterfinals of their respective events. Junior Sam McEntee (Perth, Australia) and sophomore Jordy Williamsz (Melbourne, Australia) were each automatic qualifiers for the quarterfinals of the 1500 meters. Senior Samuel Ellison (Dresher, Pa.) moved on automatically to the quarterfinals of the 800 meters.
Maxwell was in the second of four flights in the long jump and was one of 16 athletes from an initial field of 48 competitors who advanced to the finals based on the results of the first three jumps. He registered a jump of 7.48 meters on his second attempt and had the leading mark out of the 24 athletes in the first two flights. Maxwell then had to wait it out while the third and fourth flights were contested and he wound up ranking 12th overall through the first round. The top 12 from the 16 qualifiers for the finals would move on to the national meet.
Following a jump of 7.37 meters on his fourth attempt overall and his first in the finals, Maxwell the top mark of his career at 7.52 meters on his fifth attempt. He also jumped 7.51 meters on his final attempt, which tied his previous personal best that was set at the Hurricane Alumni Invitational earlier this season. The jump of 7.52 meters put Maxwell in 11th place and secured his spot in the national championships.
In the national first round of the 1500 meters McEntee and Williamsz each finished in the top five of their respective heats to garner spots in the national quarterfinals on Saturday night. McEntee came in fourth in his heat with a time of 3:46.30 and was ranked 10th overall out of the 48 runners in the first round. He ran in the fourth and final heat and was part of an incredible finish. The top five runners in the fourth heat were separated by a mere one-tenth of a second, with the next three runners all less than four-tenths of a second behind the leaders.
None of the runners from sixth through eighth places advanced on time to the quarterfinals and McEntee did all he could to hold on to fourth place at the finish line and secure his spot. Graham Crawford of North Carolina State won the fourth heat in 3:46.24, while Steve Mangan of Dartmouth (3:46.25) and Grant Pollock of Virginia Tech (3:46.29) also finished ahead of McEntee. Rorey Hunter (Indiana) finished in 3:46.34 to earn the final qualifying spot for the quarterfinals.
In the third heat of the 1500 meters Williamsz registered a time of 3:49.31 to finish third in the heat. He was in the leading pack of runners from start to finish and made a strong push down the stretch as the pace picked up to an all-out sprint for the final 200 meters. Junior Rob Denault (Aurora, Ont.) was fighting hard over the last 400 meters to stay within striking distance of the leaders and wound up eighth in the heat with a time of 3:50.31. He finished 0.67 seconds out of the fifth spot in the heat.
Ellison ran in the third of six first round heats in the 800 meters and registered a time of 1:48.67. He came in second in the heat to automatically advance to tomorrow night's quarterfinals. The top three finishers in each heat automatically moved on and Ellison beat the cut line in his heat by just over one-tenth of a second. Brandon McBride of Mississippi State pulled out to a big lead over the rest of the field with 400 meters to go and Ellison led the chase pack that formed behind him. The kick by Ellison down the stretch was nearly enough to catch McBride (1:48.31) at the finish line. Henry Tufnell from Brown came in third (1:48.72) behind Ellison.
Junior Dusty Solis (Colorado Springs, Colo.) ran in the fifth heat of the 800 meters and came in sixth in his heat with a time of 1:50.20. His time was his second-fastest of the season and fourth-best of his career but him outside of the cut line to advance to the quarterfinals.
The only event for Villanova on Friday will be the quarterfinals of the 800 meters at 7 p.m. McEntee and Williamsz will race in the quarterfinals of the 1500 meters on Saturday at 6:30 p.m., while junior Brian Basili (South Orange, N.J.) and freshman Patrick Tiernan (Toowoomba, Australia) run in the 5000 meters at 8:05 p.m. that night.
COMPLETE VILLANOVA RESULTS
800 Meters (National First Round)
Samuel Ellison 11th of 48 1:48.67 - 2nd in heat Dusty Solis 42nd 1:50.20 - 6th in heat
1500 Meters (National First Round)
Sam McEntee 10th of 48 3:46.30 - 4th in heat Jordy Williamsz 22nd 3:49.31 - 3rd in heat Rob Denault 29th 3:50.31 - 8th in heat
Elbert Maxwell 11th of 48 7.52 Meters