KNOXVILLE — After two complete days of the Tennessee Relays Presented by Sea Ray, the Lee University Track & Field teams have added six more athletes to the list of qualifiers to the NCCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
The Flames and Lady Flames were scheduled to compete in four more events (women's 4x800 meter relay, women's shot put, men's 3000 meter steelechase and the men's distance medley relay) on Saturday, the third and final day.
Ashley Matthews started the weekend on a high note for Lee with a third place performance in the 10000 meter run Thursday evening. Matthews' time of 38:13.96 set a new Lee record and marked the fastest time in the NCCAA this season. She beat her personal record, which she had set when she won the SSAC championship last year, by a minute and 10 seconds.
"This race was a huge breakthrough for Ashley," said Lee head coach Caleb Morgan. "I cannot think of a more deserving athlete on our team who has been more consistent or worked harder."
Emily Bryan and Brianna Prugh posted qualifying times in the 800-meter run. Bryan placed 41st (2:23.22), and Prugh crossed the finish line at 2:23.89 (43rd). The standard to meet was 2:25.00.
Jessica Childers was 45th (2:25.29), Storyie Miller placed 48th (2:27.67) and Emily Arnesen was 51st (2:32.29).
Justin Knuth surpassed the standard (1:59.15) in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:58.19 (27th). Adam Gullette finished 30th at 1:58.95. Gullette had already qualified earlier in the season.
Patrick Shultz and Camden Perez rounded out the NCCAA-qualifying times for the Flames. Shultz ran the 5,000 meter in 15:45.60 (34th) and Perez ticked off a time of 15:47.69 (36th). The time to meet was 15:50. Joseph Crook finished with a time of 16:16.42 (38th).
Seth Ruhling met the qualifying time of 34:15 in the 10,000-meter run for the second time in three meets. Ruhling finished 13th with a time of 33:18.36.
Keenen Hindes placed 36th in the 1,500-meter run at 4:10.81. Terris Elliott was 38th (4:12.95) and Blake Smith was 40th (4:19.56).
In the sprint events, Hollie German recorded a time of 13.72 in the 100-meter dash (47th). Mark Cisco tallied a 40th-place finish with a time of 11.37, just 0.07 shy of the qualifying time.
Kayla Gash was the only Lee contender in the field events for the first two days. She recorded a throw of 34.14 (11th) in the discus.