Pirates Ready To Hit The Track At NCAA East Regional

Hampton, Va. – Seven individuals and two relay teams from Hampton University will compete at the 2005 NCAA Division I East Regional Track & Field Championships set for this Friday and Saturday, May 27 and 28 at Icahn Stadium in Randall\'s Island, New York.

Leading the way for Hampton is a pair of sensational ladies in senior Kellie Wells and sophomore Yvette Lewis. An All-American during the indoor season, Wells brings the sixth best 100-meter hurdle time in the region into this weekend's meet at 13.29 seconds. The Richmond, Virginia native will be making her second straight appearance in the regionals where she finished fourth a year ago to advance to the NCAA Track & Field Championships in Austin, Texas.

As the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference's (MEAC) Most Outstanding Performer during both the indoor and outdoor seasons, Lewis qualified for regionals in the 200-meter dash, the 100-meter hurdles, the long and triple jumps and as a member of the 4x100 meter relay team. However, she will concentrate her efforts this weekend in the 200-meter dash, and perhaps her best event—the triple jump—where she ranks fifth in the East Region. Joining Lewis in the triple jump competition is her teammate Ni'Kia Wynn who jumped 12.56 meters at the 2005 MEAC Championships to qualify for her first regional appearance.

The women's 4x400 meter relay team, comprised of Wells, Denise Morgan, Chandra Pulliam and Arionne Allen, will also be in competition.

On the men's side, the Pirates have two athletes in both the 400-meter dash and the 400-meter hurdles.

Sophomore hurdler Terry Thornton may have the best chance of advancing to Sacramento for the 2005 NCAA Track & Field Championships when you consider his performance a year ago as a rookie. Thornton finished sixth in the East Regional in the 400-meter dash and advanced to Austin, just missing qualification for the finals.

Another second-year letterman Andrew Peresta will compete alongside Thornton in the 400-meter hurdles. A year ago Peresta also made it to the East Regional, and was one spot away from advancing to the finals. After a strong showing at the MEAC Championships, he may be one to watch in this event.

Marvin Lewis and Terrance Burton have a stiff task ahead of them as they will compete in an East region that is filled with superb 400-meter runners. The senior Lewis is making his first individual appearance at the regionals after running a season-best 46.87 seconds at the Georgia Tech Invitational which could have been the final race of his career. Likewise, Terrance Burton will also be making his first appearance in regional competition. Burton blazed a 46.69-second outing at the MEAC Championships to punch his ticket to New York.

The duo of Lewis and Burton will join the 400-meter hurdle duo of Thornton and Peresta to make up the men's 4x400 meter relay team that comes in with the third best time in the region at 3:07.21, behind only Florida and Florida State.