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PHILADELPHIA - Gabrielle Piper, Kelsey Hay, Morgan Wheeler and Kaci Jones will represent the University of Pennsylvania women's track and field team at the NCAA East Preliminary Round on the campus of North Carolina A&T in Greensboro, N.C., Thursday through Saturday.
The NCAA Championship meet extends over two weekends in a three-week span at three different sites. The first weekend - known as the NCAA Preliminary Round - is broken up into two different sites - East (Greensboro, N.C.) and West (Austin, Texas), which host the NCAA first round and quarterfinal round in each event as well as some of the NCAA semifinals.
The top 24 finishers in the first round advance to the quarterfinals where the top 12 will advance to compete in the semifinals and finals of the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., June 5-8.
Piper will be the first to represent the Quakers. The Marietta, Ga., native competes in the NCAA First Round of the 100-meter hurdles at 5 p.m. on Friday. Twenty-four of the 48 competitors will advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. Piper, who ranks third all-time at Penn in the event (13.98), is making her first NCAA appearance. Her season-best time of 13.74 would have set the school record had it not been wind-aided.
Wheeler, Hay and Jones will all compete in the javelin. The top 12 in the event will reach the NCAA Final in Eugene, Ore. All three are ranked in the top 30 at the meet and all three are among the top five all-time at Penn. Prior to this year, only two Quakers had ever passed 150 feet in the javelin. Wheeler, Hay and Jones have all eclipsed that mark within the last month.
A full recap will be available at PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of each day's events.