Rhode Island will have eight individuals competing at the NCAA Division I Men's Outdoor Track & Field Championships East Preliminary Round in Tampa, Fla. starting tomorrow, May 24.
Senior Brandon Amo (hammer), senior Mahlik Handley (hammer), junior Ryan Wilkes (pole vault), graduate student Ondrej Honka (pole vault), junior Adam Franklin (400m hurdles), senior Nigel Hill (200m and 400m), senior Jack Kahrs (high jump), and senior Casey Burley (triple jump) all qualified for the East Regionals. For the Rams, the eight qualifiers is the second most for the program since the NCAA adopted the two-region preliminary round format in 2010. Rhody had nine qualifiers in 2013, the most for any year in team history.
Amo and Handley will be the first Rams to compete on Thursday when the hammer gets underway at 8:45 a.m. Amo - a first-time NCAA qualifier - will compete in the first flight with an entry mark of 61.34 meters. Handley qualified for the second time in his career, but for the first time since 2014. He will compete in the first flight with a qualifying mark of 60.15 meters. The top 12 placers in the final will compete at the National Championship in Eugene, Ore.
Wilkes and Honka are set to compete in the pole vault at 9:30 a.m. Both individuals enter the first flight after clearing 5.08 meters. Wilkes is competing in his second NCAA Regional while Honka is a three-time qualifier. Honka is the first individual in Rhode Island history to qualify for an event on three occasions.
Franklin, who is also a three-time qualifier - again, the first time in Rhode Island history with this feat - will compete in the 400 meter hurdles at 12:30 p.m. He will be running in the fifth heat of prelims with his 51.62 second qualifying time.
Wrapping up competition on Thursday is the 400 meters, one of the two events Hill has qualified in. Hill enters the 400 meters in the sixth heat with his qualifying time of 46.86 seconds. He has also qualified for the 200 meters for the second time in his career, entering Friday's race in the sixth heat (20.88s).
Kahrs, a second time qualifier but first time competitor in the Regional Preliminaries, enters the high jump in the second flight after a clearance of 2.15 meters. The high jump is set to begin at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.
Burley will compete in the triple jump at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday with an entry of 15.51 meters. He is a second-time qualifier for the NCAA's, qualifying in the long jump last year.