2011 Men's NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Regional Preview

Providence, R.I. - BIG EAST track & field athletes travel to the 2011 NCAA Men's Outdoor Track & Field Regional meets on May 26-28. The East Regional will be held in Bloomington, Ind., and will feature 11 BIG EAST squads. The West Regional takes place in Eugene, Ore., where two of the teams will be competing. Below is a look at some of the top BIG EAST competitors this year. Sprints/Hurdles USF senior Antillio Bastian is the lone BIG EAST representative in both the 100 and 200-meter dash events. Bastian is seeded 30th in the 100 and 32nd in the 200. The senior won the 200-meter dash title at the 2011 BIG EAST Championship. Marquette's Tyler O'Brien is the 29th seed in the West Region in the 200-meter dash. O'Brien ran the fastest 200-meter time in the BIG EAST Conference this season, topping his Marquette record with a mark of 21.05 seconds in his preliminary heat at the outdoor conference championships. O'Brien also ran the 200 at the regional in 2008 and notched a time of 21.40 seconds in the preliminaries. Notre Dame freshman Patrick Feeney highlights the 400-meter group. Feeney won the BIG EAST title in the event this year and is seeded 42nd with at time of 47.27. All eyes will be on Cincinnati junior Terence Somerville in the 110-meter hurdles. Somerville set a BIG EAST record at the 2011 BIG EAST Championships, winning the title with a blistering time of 13.44. He is the No. 2 seed in the event. USF junior David Aristil also claims a No. 2 seed in the 400-meter hurdles. Aristil is a two-time 400-meter hurdle champion. The BIG EAST has four athletes in the top 11. Rutgers junior Aaron Younger is the No. 8 seed, while Pittsburgh junior Jermaine Lowery is the No. 9 seed. Georgetown junior Toby Ulm is the 11th seed. Middle Distance Notre Dame senior Jack Howard, the 2011 BIG EAST Champion in the 800-meter run, looks to continue his success at the NCAA regional where he is the sixth seed with a qualifying time of 1:48.24 Connecticut senior Michael Rutt also is seeded in the top 10. He will be the No. 9 seed with a qualifying time of 1:48.57. The Irish also boast the top BIG EAST runner in the 1,500-meter run. Sophomore Jeremy Rae claimed the top spot in the event at the BIG EAST Championship and enters as the No. 3 seed in the region with a time of 3:41.11. He is followed closely by Providence junior Julian Matthews, who is seeded fourth. Matthews is joined by junior teammate David McCarthy in the top 10. Distance/Steeple Reigning NCAA 3,000-meter steeplechase champion, Louisville senior Matt Hughes, begins his defense of his national title as the No. 6 seed in the event in the East Region. Hughes has a qualifying time of 8:44.39, while freshman teammate Mattias Wolter is seeded 14th with a time of 8:51.92. DePaul's Matthew Graham will compete in the steeplechase at the West Regional. Graham is the DePaul Record holder in the event with a time of 8:51.48. He ran the event at the 2011 BIG EAST Championships in 9:09.57 and placed eighth. Cincinnati junior Eric Finan enters the East Regional as the No. 9 seed with a time of 13:49.80. He was the 2011 BIG EAST Champion in the event. Syracuse sophomore Tito Medrano, also a BIG EAST champion this year, is the BIG EAST's top seed in the 10,000-meter run with a time of 29:22.48. Notre Dame senior Dan Jackson is the 10th seed in the event. Relays Rutgers is the lone BIG EAST team competing in the relay events. The Scarlet Knights send their 4x400-meter relay team to the East Regional. The squad won the BIG EAST title in the event. Jumps Notre Dame junior Kevin Schipper, the 2011 BIG EAST pole vault champion, leads the BIG EAST competitors in the event as a No. 11 seed. A pair of Louisville jumpers lead the pack in the high jump, as sophomore Michael Edwards and senior Neil Angermeier are seeded 25th and 26th, respectively. Connecticut sophomore Noel James is seeded 27th with a mark of 2.13 meters. In the long jump and triple, Connecticut junior Aaron King will take center stage for the BIG EAST. He is the highest seeded athlete from the conference, ranked 23rd in the long jump and 24th in the triple jump. King was the 2011 BIG EAST decathlon champion. Throws DePaul junior Tim Nedow enters the West Regional as the No. 7 seed in the shot put. Nedow is the BIG EAST Champion in both the indoor and outdoor shot put and currently holds the DePaul indoor shot put record with a distance of 19.18m. Last year at the NCAA Preliminary he placed 35th in the discus with a throw of 48.51m and threw a distance of 17.90m in the shot put to advance to the NCAA Championship. In the East Regional, Louisville senior Weston Banks competes as the No. 17 seed with a mark of 17.75 meters. Rutgers sophomore James Plummer is the top ranked athlete in the discus. The two-time BIG EAST champion in the event owns the No. 1 seed with a mark of 60.43 meters. USF junior Jared Thomas also is ranked in the top 10. He is the No. 7 seed with a mark of 56.46 meters. Connecticut sophomore Cody Unger is the top BIG EAST athlete in the javelin. Unger won the BIG EAST title at the 2011 championship and has a season-best mark of 71.23 meters.