JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The 2023 NCAA East Regional concluded on Saturday, with Bowling Green State University’s Zaresha Neal punching her ticket to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship with a 10th-place finish in the discus.
The senior threw 174-2.00 (53.10m) on her second attempt, finishing third in her flight and 10th overall. She extends BGSU’s streak of seasons with a national qualifier to 10, while earning her third career appearance at the NCAA Championship.
Brianna Richard also competed for the Falcons, concluding her outstanding career with a 27th-place finish in the triple jump. She recorded a wind-aided mark of 41-10.75 (12.77m), the third-best wind-aided mark in program history.
Bowling Green Results
10. Zaresha Neal – 174-2.00 (53.10m)
Full Discus Results
Triple Jump (wind-aided)
27. Brianna Richard – 41-10.75 (12.77m) [+3.8]
Zaresha Neal qualified for the NCAA Championship for the third total time in her career, with this being her second appearance at the Outdoor Championship. This is the first time she has qualified in the discus, one year after qualifying in the shot put.
Neal is the first Falcon to qualify for the NCAA Championship in the discus since Beth Manson, who punched her ticket in 1989. Neal did so by placing 10th, which is where she finished in the shot put at the 2022 NCAA Regional.
Neal threw 174-2.00 (53.10m), the best NCAA Regional mark in program history. It is the seventh-best mark in program history, giving her eight of the top nine marks in school history.
Neal extends BGSU’s streak of national qualifiers to 10 consecutive seasons, all of which have featured athletes who have qualified on multiple occasions. Neal joins fellow throwers Brooke Pleger, Aliyah Gustafson, and Kaila Butler, as well as distance runner Rachel Walny. Since head coach Lou Snelling began his tenure in 2011-12, the Falcons have produced 13 qualifiers to the NCAA Outdoor Championship. Neal is the first to qualify after being seeded 20th or lower.
Under Snelling, BGSU regional competitors have equaled or exceeded their seed on 36-of-46 occasions, garnering an outstanding success rate of 78.3 percent.
Brianna Richard recorded her third-best triple jump mark of the season at 41-10.75 (12.77m). It was a +3.8 wind-aided jump, marking the third-best wind-aided jump in program history.
Richard improved on her mark at the 2021 NCAA Regional by 0.19m, concluding her career with a 27th-place finish.
Neal will compete in the discus at the 2023 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship on Saturday, June 10. The event will start at 8:35 p.m. at the University of Texas.