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Lakecia Ealey regionally qualified in the 100m at the California Collegiate Challenge

Saturday April 28, 2007WT&F Posts 11 NCAA Regional Qualifying Marks on Saturday


Lakecia Ealey regionally qualified in the 100m at the California Collegiate Challenge

The University of Florida women’s track and field team posted 11 NCAA East Regional Championship qualifying marks in a pair of meets on Saturday. Junior Lakecia Ealey (Albany, Ga.) led the way for UF at the California Collegiate Challenge with a pair of regional qualifying marks in the 100m as well as running on two relay teams that notched regional marks, while junior Kristen Johnson (Atlanta, Ga.) paced the Gators at the Drake Relays with a regional qualifying and personal-best mark in the 1,500m.


In addition to Ealey, juniors Natalie Knight (Snellville, Ga.) in the 200m and Dominique McLeggan (Weston, Fla.) in the 400m surpassed the regional standard at the California Collegiate Challenge. Florida’s 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams also notched regional marks at the meet.


Gators who joined Johnson as regional qualifiers at the Drake Relays were junior Chinelo Ubaka (Tallahassee, Fla.) in the hammer throw, junior Lindsay Sundell (Fort Salonga, N.Y.) in the 3,000m steeplechase and senior Candace Cabey (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and freshman Shara Proctor (The Valley, Anguilla) in the triple jump.


“Our program is moving in the right direction going into the SEC and NCAA East Regional meets, but we know we cannot let up and have more work to do,” Florida interim women’s track and field head coach Steve Lemke said. “The highlight for us today was the impressive marks posted by our sprinters. Lakecia regionally qualified in the 100m, Natalie had another good performance in the 200m and our marks in the 4x100m and 4x400m relays were improved. We also had new regional marks put up by Kristen in the 1,500m and Shara in the triple jump. We now have most of our athletes qualified for the NCAA meet, and we have just a couple more that we’ll look to get qualified at the conference meet.”


The Gators’ efforts at the California Collegiate Challenge were led by Ealey, who finished the 100m finals in second after running a regional time of 11.39. She reached the finals in the event by running the fastest preliminary time of 11:57. The two times were Ealey’s first individual regional qualifying marks this season in addition to being apart of the Gators 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams which have attained the standard as well. The mark of 11.39 ranks as the fifth-best mark in the SEC this season and would have been a PR for Ealey but was aided by a wind of 2.6.


Knight took second in the 200m with her second regional mark of the season, 23.39. It ranks as the 11th-best time in the SEC this season. McLeggan clocked 53.62 in the 400m, a personal-best and her second regional mark in the event this year. The time also ranks as the 11th-best in the SEC.


The Gators’ 4x100m relay team of junior Abigail David (Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago), Knight, Ealey and sophomore Zan Joseph (Boynton Beach, Fla.) finished second with a time of 44.75, the seventh-fastest time in the SEC. UF’s 4x400m relay of McLeggan, Joseph, Ealey and David crossed the finished line in 3:36.06, the fourth-fastest time in the SEC, to take second. Florida has now earned regional marks in both relay events twice this season.


Johnson paced the contingent of UF athletes at the Drake Relays by running the 1,500m in 4:25.39 en route to a sixth-place finish and the first regional mark of her career. The time ranks as the fifth-best time in the Southeastern Conference this season and was a PR for Johnson by over six seconds.


Ubaka’s hammer throw of 54.97m/180-4 placed her 11th and was her fourth regional qualifying toss this year.


Sundell clocked a time of 10:47.03 to take ninth in the steeplechase and earn a second regional mark in the event this season.


In the triple jump, Cabey leaped 12.42m/40-9.0 to take 10th and Proctor jumped 12.39m/40-7.75 to finish 11th. It marks the second time Cabey has regionally qualified in the event and the first time for Proctor, who has also achieved the feat in the long jump. Proctor’s mark would have been a PR but was aided by a wind of 2.1.


The Gators will next compete at the SEC Championships on May 10-13, in Tuscaloosa, Ala.



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