Courtesy EKU Athletics

Two Eastern Kentucky University student-athletes – junior Samuel Abascal and freshman Remi Schyns – have qualified for the NCAA East Region Preliminary Championships, to be held May 23-25 at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.

Abascal and Schyns both qualified in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase.

The top-48 performances from the season in every event – after scratches, injuries, etc. – earned entry to the NCAA East Region Prelims.

The top-12 finishers from each event at the East and West Regionals will advance to the NCAA Championships, to be held June 5-8 at the University of Texas in Austin.

The NCAA East Prelims will be streamed live on Flotrack.

It is the third consecutive regional appearance for Abasacal. The junior from Sancibrian, Cantabria, Spain enters the meet with the No. 3 time in the East – 8:42.5, which he ran at the Stanford Invitational on March 29. He was voted to the OVC Male Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year on May 8, and he followed that up by winning steeplechase gold at the OVC Championships two days later.

Abascal just missed qualifying for the NCAA Championships in the steeplechase last season. He finished 13th at the East Prelims with a then-personal-best time of 8:49.1.

This is Schyns’ first career regional appearance. The native of Liege, Belgium comes into the meet ranked No. 44 in the region with a time of 8:59.3. He ran that personal-best at Louisville’s Lenny Lyles / Clark Wood Invitational on April 26. Schyns was voted the OVC Male Outdoor Freshman of the Year on May 8. He took silver in the steeplechase at the OVC Outdoor Championships, losing only to Abascal.

EKU has sent a male steeplechaser to the NCAA Championships in each of the past seven seasons, the only school in the country able to make that claim. Jamaine Coleman finished as the NCAA runner-up in the event last season.

— www.EKUSports.com –

Steve Fohl

Associate Director of EKUSports Communications

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