June 4, 2012

Next Stop for Levine: NCAA Nationals

Junior Discus Thrower to Face Nation's Best

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Two weeks removed from a season-best performance at the East Preliminary Round, junior Mike Levine has reached the hallowed ground of the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Final Championships. This year's host site is Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

Levine booked his ticket to Nationals with a 12th-place finish in the discus throw at the East Regional two weeks ago. Despite fouling on four of his six throws at that meet, he was able to snag the final qualifying spot with a season-best heave of 53.93m (175'11").

The field in Des Moines will be composed of the top 12 finishers in either regional, led by top qualifier Luke Bryant of Oklahoma (60.24m – 197'7") and dominated by the Big 12 (six athletes) and Big Ten (six athletes) conferences. Levine, the reigning Ivy League champion, is the only member of the Ancient Eight and the only New Englander to earn a berth at Nationals in the discus throw.

Levine is also the first Eli to qualify for Nationals since Chris Labosky '10 reached the meet in the 800-meter run in 2010. The last Bulldog to earn All-American status was Jihad Beauchman '06, who did so in the high jump in 2006. For Levine to merit that distinction, he will need to finish in the top 16.

Slated to begin on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m., the discus throw will be the opening event of the national championship meet. The field will be randomly divided into two flights, with each athlete getting three initial attempts. The top nine will then be granted three more throws to determine a champion.

The qualifiers are listed here along with their seed marks, and a full schedule of events is available here. The NCAA will be posting live results at http://www.flashresults.com, and a recap of the discus throw will be posted on www.yalebulldogs.com.

Report by Eian Katz '13, Yale Sports Publicity