The Collegian
Thursday, May 19, 2022

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Benford, Traynor await Tuesday decision on bids to nationals

The NCAA selection committee naming at-large bids for the outdoor track and field national championships won't release results until 3 p.m. Tuesday, not Monday, as originally expected.

That's according to Steve Taylor, men's track and field coach for the University of Richmond. Two Richmond athletes -- Nicol Traynor and Andrew Benford -- are in the running to receive invitations to the championships in Fayetteville, Ark., based on their performances earlier this season.

Traynor is vying for a spot in the women's 5,000-meter run, and Benford is looking for one in the men's 3,000 steeplechase. Taylor and women's coach Lori Taylor expect Traynor to earn the bid.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. The Collegian's earlier story is below.

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Nicol Traynor and Andrew Benford are poised to extend their track and field seasons to the NCAA National Championships, despite falling short of the automatic qualifiers in their respective races at the East regional championships in Greensboro, N.C., on Friday and Saturday.

Traynor finished in 16 minutes, 36.5 seconds on Friday night in the 5,000-meter run at North Carolina A&T in a pouring rain, and Benford ended in 8th place in 8:56.29 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase on Saturday night.

Both distance runners must wait until Monday evening to know whether they will advance to the national championships as at-large qualifiers. The top-five finishers from each event in each of four regions receive automatic bids to nationals, and seven additional runners nationally are selected based on athletes' season-best times.

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