Stepp takes second, advances to NCAA Championships

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Medical issue forces Alberg out of the men’s 100m dash

GREENSBORO, N.C. (May 23, 2013) – Junior Tyler Stepp (Dandridge, Tenn.) achieved his personal best on the biggest stage of his career with a second-place leap of 7.79m in the men’s long jump at the NCAA East Region Preliminaries on Thursday at Irwin Belk Track inside of Aggie Stadium on the North Carolina A&T State University campus.

Stepp’s second-place standing advances him, and the other top-11 marks in the event, to the NCAA Championships hosted by the University of Oregon in Eugene, Ore., June 5-8, at Hayward Field.

“We are very happy and excited that Tyler Stepp will move onto the finals of the NCAA Championships,” said ETSU Director of Track & Field/Cross Country George Watts. “He has been a model of consistency throughout the year and once again it showed today. He improved on every jump in the finals and saved his best for last.”

The other two-thirds of the men’s long jump trio did not experience similar successes. Diego Lawrence (Waxhaw, N.C.) registered a mark of 6.92m to finish 35th overall, while Ryan Beaver (Virginia Beach, Va.) did not score in the event.

“Although Ryan [Beaver] and Diego [Lawrence] did not advance to the finals,” said Watts, “they earned valuable experience and along with Tyler [Stepp] will give us an even better long jump crew next year.”

Unfortunately, speedster Ifrish Alberg (Paramaribo, Suriname) did not participate in the men’s 100m dash due to a medical issue. This development nixed ETSU’s fortune of hopefully advancing their top-two competitors to the NCAA Championships on day one at the Prelims. Though he will not be able to pursue a coveted national championship in the 100m, the senior has a lot to be proud of in his final season at ETSU, featuring the setting of multiple records and winning numerous gold medals.

“Ifrish [Alberg] caught a bad break with a medical issue that kept him from competing and I feel badly for him,” said Watts. “He can hold his head up high though and be proud of his many accomplishments. He’s a true champion and has a great future ahead of him. I appreciate everything he has done for ETSU track & field and how he has represented our university with class.”

“We had some ups and downs today,” said Watts, “but overall we made great strides for our program.”

Competition at the Prelims resumes Friday with Demeteria Edgecombe (Spartanburg, S.C.) in the women’s 100m hurdles beginning at 5 p.m.

The women’s javelin throw featuring Verena Tobis (Hechingen, Germany) will start at noon on Saturday; followed by Jason Johnson (Philadelphia, Pa.) in the men’s triple jump at 1 p.m. At 6 p.m., the women’s 4x100m relay team will be in action, followed by ETSU’s final effort in the Prelims with the women’s 100m hurdles quarterfinal at 7:05 p.m.

Meet information, events schedules and heat sheets for the NCAA East Region Preliminaries can be accessed by visiting NCA&TAggies.com. Live results will be available through FlashResults.com. Complete recaps of ETSU’s performances will be available following Friday and Saturday’s events at ETSUBucs.com.

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