INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - There's a new trend happening within the VCU women's track & field team. In the 10 seasons prior to the arrival of Head Coach Jon Riley and staff, the Rams reached NCAA East Regionals three times. In the five years since, the Rams have reached East Regionals four times.
Those four times include this year after sophomore Kiara Porter and redshirt junior Jaleesa Williams were given official word of their inclusion in the 2013 NCAA East Regionals, which will get underway next weekend in Greensboro, N.C.
The top 48 student-athletes in each individual event advance to East Regionals, while the top 24 in each relay earn a berth. Both Porter and Williams will be making their second consecutive trip to the East Regionals.
After torching the track at the Vanderbilt Invitational to the tune of 53.11 in the 400-meter, Porter found herself ranked in the top-20 in the East Region for the remainder of the year. She'll enter as the 17th-best time this spring.
Williams unleashed a discus toss of 49.4 meters (162' 1") at the Florida Relays in April to earn a spot in the regionals. She'll enter with the 41st-best throw in the field.
The opening round of the regionals begin on Thursday, May 23. Williams and the discus competition will kick off at 3:30 p.m.
Porter's first round in the 400m will take off at 7:20 p.m. The top three in each heat (six heats overall) as well as the next nine best times will advance to the quarterfinal round, which is slated for Friday, May 24 at 6 p.m.
The top 12 athletes in both events will advance to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon on June 5-8. Tanika Brown was the last Ram to reach the NCAA Championships in 2005.