Akbarizadeh, Jakeljic To Compete At 2017 NCAA Track & Field East Preliminaries Thursday Afternoon

Akbarizadeh, Jakeljic To Compete At 2017 NCAA Track & Field East Preliminaries Thursday Afternoon

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Gardner-Webb's stellar throws duo of Natasha Akbarizadeh and Petra Jakeljic will begin competition Thursday afternoon at the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field East Preliminaries.

The pair will compete at the UK Outdoor Track & Field Complex along with the best hammer student-athletes in the country, continuing what has become a fine tradition for Gardner-Webb throwers in recent history.

The hammer event is scheduled to begin at 4:00 pm ET Thursday.

Akbarizadeh and Jakeljic each finished among the top-48 in the region to qualify for the event – which is the second regional appearance for Akbarizadeh in the past two seasons.

The junior from Maple Ridge, British Columbia, finished 20th last season at the East Preliminaries in Jacksonville, Fla.

Earlier this month Akbarizadeh had a toss of 60.26 meters at the 2017 Big South Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which ranks 28th in the region.

She won the 2017 Big South Conference title with that distance, which was nearly two meters better than her closest competitor.

Jakeljic, a sophomore from Split, Croatia, qualified for the first time in her career.

She had a season-best throw of 58.44 meters at the 2017 Charlotte Invitational, which ranks 41st in the region.

Jakeljic had a best distance of 57.14 meters at the recent Big South Conference Outdoor Champioships in Charleston, earning All-Big South Conference honors with a third-place finish.

The top-12 finishers will move on to the 2017 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

To follow live results, visit http://www.ncaa.com/sites/default/files/external/track-field/results/d1/outdoor17/east/index.htm

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