AKRON, Ohio - Six student-athletes are set to represent the University of Akron track and field program at this week's NCAA Outdoor Championships this Wednesday, June 7, through Saturday, June 10, at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
"We have a quality group of athletes here," Akron head coach Dennis Mitchell commented. "All of them are ready and in a position to be able to score. It is time for all the work and preparation they have put in to pay off. The most mentally tough and competitive athletes flourish in this format. I like how tough our athletes are."
Coverage of the meet will be available on ESPNU on Wednesday, 7:30-8:30 p.m. ET. ESPN2 will showcase the action on Wednesday and Thursday from 8:30-11 p.m. ET. ESPN will round out coverage from 8:30-11 p.m. ET on Friday and 6:30-9 p.m. ET on Saturday.
In addition, live field event coverage will be provided on ESPN3 on Wednesday (3:30-11:30 pm ET), Thursday (1:30-11:30 p.m. ET), Friday (3:30-11 p.m. ET) and Saturday (2:30-9 p.m. ET).
The NCAA will continue the format that debuted in 2015 that will showcase both the men's and women's competitions on alternating days.
The NCAA Championship for the men will commence on Wednesday, June 7, as sophomore Matt Ludwig (Chardon, Ohio) begins competition in the men's pole vault starting at 8 p.m. ET. A year ago as a freshman at Missouri, Ludwig, who is the top-seeded competitor this season, finished 10th in the event surpassing 17-4.50 (5.30m) to garner second-team All-America accolades.
Junior Terrell McClain (Youngstown, Ohio) makes his second consecutive appearance in the finals of the men's high jump at 9 p.m. ET. Seeded 11th, McClain looks to improve upon a 10th-place performance in 2016, one in which he registered a mark of 24-6.50 (7.48m) en route to collecting second-team All-America honors.
On the final day of men's competition on Friday, June 9, sophomore Cody Stine (Shelby, Ohio) and senior Phil Jagers (Solon, Ohio) will be in action for Akron in the men's high jump and discus, respectively, at 8 and 8:05 p.m. ET.
Stine is seeded 22nd in the men's high jump after surpassing 6-10.75 (2.10m) at the NCAA East Preliminary Round on May 27. As a freshman in 2016, Stine earned second-team All-America accolades on the strength of eclipsing 6-10.25 (2.09m) to post a 13th-place performance.
The school-record holder and two-time All-America honoree in the men's discus, Jagers is seeded seventh in the competition. He registered a qualifying mark of 198-7 (60.53m) at the NCAA East Preliminary Round on May 27.
The women's heptathlon opens competition for the Zips' women's squad on Friday, June 9, with junior Jackie Siefring (Covington, Ohio) taking part in the 100-meter hurdles (3:30 p.m. ET), high jump (4:30 p.m. ET), shot put (6:30 p.m. ET) and 200 meters (10:13 p.m. ET).
Siefring is seeded ninth in the competition. In 2016, she garnered second-team All-America accolades after placing 12th in the championship final with a seven-event cumulative score of 5,626.
The heptathlon concludes on Saturday, June 10, with the final three events in the long jump (2:30 p.m. ET), javelin (3:45 p.m. ET) and 800 meters (8:13 p.m. ET).
The final day of the NCAA Championship on Saturday, June 10, will see senior Nikki Manson (Glasgow, Scotland) participate in the women's high jump at 6 p.m. ET.
Manson placed 10th at the 2017 NCAA Indoor Championship in March with a leap of 5-11.25 (1.81m). Manson will be seeded ninth of 24 jumpers in the field after jumping 5-10.50 (1.79m) at the NCAA East Preliminary Round on May 26.
Akron's entries will be looking to add to the tradition of the Zips' track and field program, which already includes eight individual national champions. Christi Smith made history in 2000 when she became the first national champion in school history, capturing gold in the heptathlon. Stevi Large was the next to accomplish the feat, winning the women's hammer throw in 2009. Annika Roloff captured the women's pole vault in 2014. Shawn Barber became the school's first male champion claiming the indoor pole vault title in 2014 before again earning the crown at the 2015 NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships. Clayton Murphy became Akron's first-ever NCAA champion in a running event winning the indoor 800 meters and outdoor 1,500 meters in 2016.
Zips' Schedule of Events:
Wednesday, June 7
Men's Pole Vault – Matt Ludwig (finals, 8 p.m. ET)
Men's Long Jump – Terrell McClain (finals, 9 p.m. ET)
Friday, June 9
Women's Heptathlon – Jackie Siefring (four events starting at 3:30 p.m. ET)
Men's High Jump – Cody Stine (finals, 8 p.m. ET)
Men's Discus – Phil Jagers (finals, 8:05 p.m. ET)
Saturday, June 10
Women's Heptathlon – Jackie Siefring (three events starting at 2:30 p.m. ET)
Women's High Jump – Nikki Manson (finals, 6 p.m. ET)