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After Record Breaking Season, Bridger-Wilkinson Sets Eyes on NCAA East Preliminary Round

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont Track and Field junior Marcus Bridger-Wilkinson (Newbury, England) will return to the regional stage this week as he steps on the track to compete at the 2014 NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field East Preliminary Round, hosted by the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Fla.

Bridger-Wilkinson punched his ticket to compete in Jacksonville at the beginning of the 2014 outdoor season.  At the Alabama Relays, he shattered the program record that he set two years prior, crossing the line in 3:44.98 to take second in the deep field.  For his effort, he was named OVC Male Athlete of the Week (3/26).  Bridger-Wilkinson continued to excel in the event, capping the regular season winning gold in the 1500m at the 2014 OVC Championship. 

The Newbury, England native currently boasts the 15th-fastest time in the East region, after resetting the top Belmont mark in the 1500m once again, winning the event at the Georgia Tech Invitational with a time of 3:43.13.

The 2014 NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field East Preliminary Round will be contested at Hodges Stadium on the campus of former Atlantic Sun foe North Florida, a facility not unfamiliar to Bridger-Wilkinson.  In 2012, he competed in the NCAA Regionals on the same track, advancing to the quarterfinals, after finishing seventh in his heat and 12th overall in the preliminary round.   In the quarterfinals, Bridger-Wilkinson narrowly missed moving on to the finals.

"Marcus is definitely peaking at the right time.  All his workouts have been spot on and he is very confident right now," said Jeff Langdon, Belmont's Director of Cross Country and Track & Field.  "Two years ago, we were just happy that he qualified.  He has much higher aspirations this year and hopes to race again in Oregon in two weeks."

Bridger-Wilkinson will compete in the First Round of the 1500m at NCAA Regionals on Thursday, May 29 with heats beginning at approximately at 4:30 p.m. CT.  Live stats will be available.