Bucknell Track & Field's Rycek Advances to NCAA National Championships
May 27, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Laura Rycek (Northampton, Pa./Northampton Area) became the second Bison in as many days to qualify for the NCAA Track & Field Championships, placing 11th in the javelin at Indiana University’s Robert C. Haugh Track & Field Complex on Friday afternoon. The senior recorded a throw of 152 feet, 1 inch at the NCAA East Preliminaries to clinch a position at the national championships.
Rycek becomes just the third Bison on the women’s side to qualify for the NCAA Championships in track and field. She joins Melanie Buczko and Maria Garcia who advanced in the pole vault and hammer, respectively, in 2004. It was Rycek’s third attempt at a national berth. The 11th-place showing topped her previous best of 19th as a freshman.
“It feels amazing to be going to nationals,” said Rycek following Friday’s competition. “I have been trying to qualify for four years and I finally accomplished it.”
Also competing in the women’s javelin were Kat Folger (Groton, Mass./Bishop Guertin) and Tayler Siegrist (Madison, N.J./Madison). Siegrist was 42nd overall with a throw of 126-9, while Folger was 45th at 117-1. It was the first NCAA regional appearance for both the junior Folger and Siegrist, a sophomore.
Competing in his first NCAA East prelim, Leonard Joseph (Whitesboro, N.Y./Clinton) placed 37th in the hammer throw. The finish came with a mark of 183-0. The 2011 Patriot League champion in the hammer, Joseph finishes his season with a career-best 193-9 set at the IC4A Championships and is ranked fifth all-time at Bucknell.
Rycek will have one more opportunity to cap off an already impressive season for the Bucknell women’s javelin throwers. Folger, Rycek and Siegrist, which earned the distinction of being the first trio of Bison to compete in the same event at the same NCAA regional, already have two Patriot League Championship medals this spring. While Rycek holds the Bucknell javelin record, set at 158-7 in her victory at the league meet, Folger (144-6) is third all-time in program history and Siegrist (144-1) is fourth.
Bucknell’s season continues June 8-11 at the NCAA Championships at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Ted Heitzman (Elysburg, Pa./Southern Columbia), who placed sixth in yesterday’s javelin competition, will compete on June 8, while Rycek will throw on June 9.