Location: Jacksonville, Fla.
Venue: UNF's Hodges Stadium
Timeline: Schedule of Events
Jacksonville, FL -- Monmouth track and field athletes opened competition at the 2012 NCAA East Regionals at the University of North Florida on Thursday in the javelin, 400 hurdles and 10,000 meter run, as junior Vincent DuVernois, freshman Zach Torrell, junior Rachel Watkins and senior Jennifer Nelson donned the Blue and White for the Hawks.
DuVernois, the Northeast Conference and IC4A Champion and a returning All-American, hit 217'6" on his second attempt in the javelin to advance to the finals, where 16 competitors had three more throws to determine who would be the 12 javelin throwers to move on to the NCAA Finals. DuVernois, who was in 11th place until the final round of throws, finished 14th - just 11 inches from his second straight trip the NCAA Finals, despite improving to 217'8" on his last attempt.
"Vince was very disappointed," commented head coach Joe Compagni. "But no one works harder than he does and he has had another excellent season."
Also in the javelin, Torrell finished 35th overall with a throw of 192' 8".
Watkins, in her first trip trip to NCAAs, also narrowly missed advancing, as her time of 1:00.25 in the 400 hurdles landed her in 33rd place, but was her second-fastest time of her career, and the fourth-best time in school history. The top 27 advance to the quarterfinals on Saturday, and Watkins missed the last qualifying spot by 0.22 seconds.
Watkins returns to action in the high jump, along with senior Lindsey Walsh at 5:00 p.m. today.
At 9:40 p.m. last evening, Nelson rounded out the Hawks' competitors on the day, as the NEC Champion in the 5k and 10k finished 27th overall in the women's 10,000 meter run, registering a mark of 36:09.77, the fourth-fastest time in school history, as the senior now holds the top-five marks in program annals. Neslon, who was seeded 48th entering the day finished 27th in her final collegiate race.
"The heat impacted everyone's times in the 10k," commented Compagni. "But Jen raced very well and was moving up the whole race. I wish we had her with us for a few more years."
Senior Vincent Elardo will compete in the hammer throw this afternoon, along with Watkins and Walsh in the high jump.