Six Men's Track Athletes Qualify For NCAA Championships

Evan Karakolis is one of six men's track athletes to qualify for NCAA competition

May 16, 2013

Six Rice men's track and field athletes qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Gabe Cuadra, Evan Karakolis, Chris Pillow, Ben Pressley and Alex Zinchenko compete in Austin, Texas from May 23-25 in Preliminary Round action, while Clayton Chaney competes from June 5-6 in Eugene, Ore.

Cuadra qualified for the 10,000 m run, with the national semifinal heat taking place at 9:40 p.m. on May 23. Cuadra finished fifth at the C-USA Championships, adding to a season that has seen him earn All-South Central Region and All-Conference USA honors in cross country.

Karakolis, the school record holder in the javelin, throws at 1 p.m. on May 25. Karakolis' first two collegiate throws both broke the school record, which now stands at 227' 10". He did not throw again until the C-USA Championship, where he finished sixth.

Pillow qualified for the pole vault, after winning the C-USA Championship in the event. The pole vault starts at 1 p.m. on May 25. Pillow has won five consecutive meets in the pole vault, and vaulted a personal-best 17' 9" m to finish third at the Texas Relays, the same venue that hosts the first round of the NCAA Championships.

Pressley qualified for the long jump, which starts at 1:30 p.m. on May 23. Pressley had a breakout performance at the UTEP Invitational on April 13, jumping a career-best 24' 3.5". He jumped 23' 10.75" at the C-USA Championships to finish seventh.

Zinchenko earned a spot in the discus competition, which begins at 12 p.m. on May 23. He earned All-C-USA honors in the discus by finishing second in the event at the C-USA Championship. He threw the discus 173 feet at the Triton Invitational in San Diego, his season-best and career-best.



Chaney, the C-USA Champion in the decathlon, competes at the finals of the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., starting at 12 p.m. on June 5. There is no preliminary round for the decathlon in the NCAA Championships, allowing Chaney to qualify directly for the finals in Eugene.



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