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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Senior Billie-Jo Grant, junior Yemi Ayeni and sophomore Stephanie Garcia opened competition for the Cavaliers at the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, Iowa on Wednesday. Grant and Ayeni have both qualified for the finals of their respective discus events on Friday.

Ayeni began the day with the men’s discus qualifying round and took second in his flight, and sixth overall, with a throw of 55.80m to advance to Friday’s finals at 3:15 p.m. CST. This marks the second-straight season that Ayeni has advanced to the finals of the discus at the national championships. Last season, he earned All-America honors with a seventh place finish and a throw of 56.97m.

Grant’s throw of 51.01m was good for a 10th-place finish to advance her to Friday’s finals at 5:30 p.m. CST. This will mark the third-time Grant has advanced out of the qualifying round, as she earned All-America honors in both 2005 and 2006, before redshirting the 2007 season.

Garcia took 16th in the 3000m steeplechase, finishing the race in 10:27.14. The sophomore was the 2007 USA Jr National Champion in the steeplechase and finished the season as the 2008 ACC Champion in the event.

Preliminary events will continue tomorrow with Meghan Briggs competing in the javelin at 2:15 p.m. CST and Andrew Jesien running the 1500m at 7:10 p.m. CST. Emily Harrison, Katie Read and Kara Scanlin will conclude the day with the 10K finals at 8:10 p.m. CST.

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