JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It's not uncommon for college students to head to sunny Florida after school lets out. However, most of those students are headed to enjoy some relaxation and time off, not get to work like the several members of the VCU women's track & field team will be doing next week.
Freshman Kiara Porter (pictured, main), sophomore Jaleesa Williams (pictured, right)and the 4x100 meter relay squad all earned spots in the NCAA East Preliminary Round, which will take place next week on the campus of the University of North Florida.
After not having multiple NCAA participants in nearly 15 years, the women's squad has now had it in back-to-back seasons after Quina Fortune and Julia Anyaugo both reached the East Preliminary Round last year.
Porter becomes the first VCU women's track freshman to ever reach the NCAA postseason event, entering the preliminary rounds ranked 18th in the 400-meter dash with a season-best time of 53.24.
Williams marks the second straight year that a thrower has reached the postseason, ranking 35th in the discus at 49.01 meters.
The 4x100 meter relay squad is made up of Porter, classmate Alexis Stroman, senior Jazlynn Finney and junior Dionna Hayes. The quartet currently sits 16th in the East with a season-best time of 45.20.
The NCAA Preliminary Rounds take the top 48 in each individual event into the first round of action, which will take place on Thursday and Friday of next week. Out of the first round, 16 competitors will advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals, which will take place on Friday and Saturday. The top 12 finishers will then advance to NCAA Championships on June 6-9th at Drake University.
A full schedule for the East Preliminary Round can be found here.