JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jen Esposito of the Elon University women’s track and field team advanced to the semifinal round of the 400-meter hurdles as the Phoenix opened competition at the NCAA East Preliminaries on Thursday, May 28, at Hodges Stadium at the University of North Florida.
Esposito clocked in a time of 58.04 in the race, finishing second in her heat and 13th overall in opening round of the event. The Mansfield, Mass., native, who came into the NCAA preliminary round seeded 13th in the East Region, gets an opportunity to finish in the top-12 in the semifinal tomorrow, May 29, with a chance to advance to the finals at the national meet in Eugene, Ore.
“We’re really excited and thrilled for Jen to move on to the next round,” said Elon Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Mark Elliston. “She knows her work is not done yet as she will look to get into the top 12 for tomorrow. She improved a lot from last year and it’s always great when you return to this meet and step up and do a little bit more.”
Sophomore Kimberly Johansen also competed for the Phoenix in the 1,500-meters, but failed to advance to the semifinal round. The Chelmsford, England, native closed out her terrific track and field campaign with a 4:25.84 time in the race.
“For Kim to come in and do what she’s done all year and to make it here to this meet was incredible,” said Elliston. “”(Her performance) was little disappointing by her standards, but it’s hard to be upset too much because of the year that she had. It was her first time being a part of the East Regional, she got a lot of experience and we have not seen the last of her at this meet.”
Elon is back in action tomorrow with three athletes in competition. Sydney Griffin opens the day with the first round of the 100-meter hurdles at 5 p.m. followed by Esposito in the semifinals of the 400-meter hurdles at 7:30 p.m. Tereza Novotna closes out the day for the Phoenix in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at 8:50 p.m.