NEW HAVEN, Conn. - This entire weekend, Wednesday through Saturday June 10-13, over 1,000 of the best collegiate track & field athletes in the country will converge in Fayetteville, Ark. for the NCAA Division I Championships. The University of Arkansas is hosting this championship meet at the John McDonnell Field. All athletes competing at this meet qualified through one of the four regional championship meets two weekends ago, including senior Jeffrey Lachman in the discus throw.
Lachman placed third at the NCAA East Regional at the end of May, guaranteeing him a spot at the national championships. The senior is currently ranked 14th in the nation based on all performances this season, after he throw 58.29 meters at the Yale-Harvard dual meet in April. This distance was a new Yale record by nearly ten feet, and was the best mark of any Ivy-League discus thrower this year.
The national leader in the discus is senior Rashaud Scott of Kentucky, who threw an impressive 65.90 meters at the Mid-East Regional Championships two weekends ago . He has thrown over two meters farther than any other NCAA competitor this year. Scott is the defending NCAA Champion: he threw 60.87 meters to win over Yemi Ayeni of Virginia (59.50 meters) last year. Ayeni is also competing this year, making this a very competitive event. Competition could be fierce to earn one of the twelve spots in the final, as less than two meters separate the athletes ranked fifth through fifteenth going into the prelims. A complete start list of competitors, including all 26 men entered in the discus throw, can be found here.
The qualifying round of the discus throw will be held on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. (CDT). The throwers with the top 12 performances during the preliminaries will advance to a final round on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. (Complete schedule of events). However, the schedule is subject to change depending on weather conditions. Wednesday evening, thunder storms and tornado warnings postponed the second half of the meet by around four hours. Thursday's forecast includes high temperatures during the day and possible thunderstorms in the evening again.
Report by Bevin Peters '09, Yale Sports Publicity