By Drew Harris | UTAMavs.com
ARLINGTON, Texas -- UT Arlington will be well represented at next week's NCAA West Preliminary Round, as eight men and five women will compete in individual events, and each squad will also have a relay team in action.
"We are very excited about all of our athletes who have advanced to Austin," UTA coach John Sauerhage said. "It's an amazing accomplishment, but we aren't done yet. We're ready to give our best efforts of the year and see what happens. But we definitely have the talent to have a number of athletes advance to the NCAA Championships."
The highest-seeded athlete is Emil Blomberg, who is ranked second in the region in the 3000m steeplechase with a time of 8:36.98. Blomberg qualified for the NCAA Championships in the event a year ago.
A pair of Mavericks are among the top competitors in the 100 meters. Clayton Vaughn is listed third in the 100m with his wind-legal time of 9.93. Meanwhile, Quentin Butler is 13th with a clocking of 10.17. UTA is one of just three schools in the West Region with two athletes among the top 15 in that event, joining USC and TCU.
Those four sprinters will also team up to compete in the 4x100 relay. The Mavericks have the region's ninth-best time (39.68), which is .13 off the school record mark achieved a year ago.
UTA's final men's qualifier is Victor Fincher, who will run the 110m hurdles after his season-best clocking of 14.26 at the Sun Belt Conference Championships placed him 41st.
On the women's side, two UTA athletes have qualified in the 800 meters. Ashly Wright, who made the 2013 NCAA Championships in the event, is 21st overall with a time of 2:07.34. Meanwhile, Tamerah Gorham is ranked 32nd (2:08.63).
The other distance runner in action is Gabriela Alfonzo, who will participate in the 5000 meters. The school record holder in the event has a time of 16:32.39, which places her 44th.
Wright, Gorham, Davis and Dasia Rolfe will team up to run the 4x400 relay. The quartet's time of 3:40.37 ranks 23rd in the west.
The top 48 athletes in each event, as well as the best 24 relay teams, earned a spot in the meet, which will be held Thursday through Saturday at Mike Myers Stadium in Austin.
The top 12 in each event will advance to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., from June 10-13. For more information on the NCAA West Preliminary Round, visit TexasSports.com.
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