Georgia Track & Field Sends Another Pair To NCAAs
GREENSBORO, N.C. --- Two more members of Georgia’s track and field teams qualified for the finals of the NCAA Championships at the NCAA East Prelims in Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday.
Sophomore Tynia Gaither (women’s 200-meter dash) and freshman Freya Jones (women’s javelin) both finished in the top 12 in their respective events to give the Bulldogs 18 qualifiers for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., on June 5-8.
“We finish with a total of 18 people headed to Oregon and that’s pretty good, but we are a better team than that,” said head coach Wayne Norton. “It was painful today to lose the (4x100) relay team and Carly (Hamilton) but we proved tonight that bad things sometimes happen to good people. We have to accept the people that we had advance. I am working to find the positive view of the weekend and build on it.
“This was a qualification meet and the objective is to be get to Oregon and be ready for what’s waiting on you there. Our effort was probably the best it has been at this meet in the last two or three years so I’m proud of how our crew battled.”
The top 12 finishers in either the quarterfinal or semifinal rounds (depending on the event) at the East Prelims or West Prelims (Austin, Texas) advanced to the finals of the NCAA Championships in Eugene.
These 12 qualifiers punched their ticket on Friday at the meet: freshman Shaunae Miller (women’s 400), junior Johnathan Smith (men’s 100), junior Megan Malasarte (women’s 800), sophomore Charles Grethen and Kisean Smith (men’s 800), sophomore Drew Branch (men’s 400 hurdles), senior Leslie Boozer (women’s steeplechase), sophomore Morgann Leleux (women’s pole vault), junior Caleb Whitener and sophomore Nick Vena (men’s shot put) and senior Saniel Atkinson-Grier and freshman Leontia Kallenou (women’s high jump).
On the first day of the meet, freshman Chanice Porter guaranteed her spot to the NCAA Championships by taking 10th in the long jump on Thursday.
Decathletes Maicel Uibo and Garrett Scantling and heptathlete Lucie Ondraschkova are already included in the field for the NCAA Championships.
Despite four fouls, Jones took fourth overall in the qualifying round of the javelin with the second-best throw of her career. Jones lifted her fourth attempt 167 feet, 6 inches to be one of only four competitors to eclipse 165 feet.
Gaither locked down her first trip to the NCAA Championships by taking fourth in the opening heat with a 200 time of 23.51. This finish gave her one of the three at-large qualifying spots. Gaither missed out on a trip to Eugene in the 100 by less than a hundredth of a second earlier in the week.
Junior Hilenn James finished one spot out of qualifying for the NCAA finals after taking 13th in the shot put. She had a top throw of 51-8.50 in only her second meet of the outdoor season.
The SEC champion in the women’s 1500, sophomore Carly Hamilton, finished ninth in her heat and 14th overall with a 4:18.26 as her bid for her first invitation to the NCAA Outdoor Championships ended. Hamilton came into the competition with the nation’s sixth-fastest time at 4:12.15.
Miller and Gaither joined freshman Briana Vaughn and freshman Rashan Brown in the 4x100 relay. The foursome failed to finish after a zone infraction.
In the men’s 4x100 relay, sophomore Justin Scott-Wesley, Johnathan Smith, freshman Pierce Vincent and freshman Maurice Freeman recorded a season-best time of 40.18 to take fifth in their heat and 17th overall. It took 39.93 to advance to Eugene.
Smith, who had already assured himself a trip to Oregon in the 100, was seventh in his heat in the 200 semifinals after recording a time of 20.93.
Also, Freeman competed in the high jump and tied for 43rd with a clearance of 6-6.75.
Wildcats Wrap East Prelims With 11 NCAA Championship Qualifiers
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Kentucky track and field took a major step forward as a program at the NCAA East Preliminary Championships, which wrapped up on Saturday at Irwin Belk Track.
Four Wildcats clinched spots in the NCAA Semifinals on Saturday giving Kentucky 11 entries (10 competitors) total going into the National Championship Meet.
The top-12 placers in each event qualified for the NCAA Championships, which will be held June 5-9, 2013 at Oregon’s Historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
Six Wildcat men will be in the Eugene field, while four women will compete in five events.
Six of the ten Wildcats that clinched spots in the NCAA Outdoor Championship field will compete in the event for the first time.
Chelsea Oswald continued her top form in the 5,000 meters as she posted the No. 3 qualifying time out of the east crossing the finish line in 15:59.20. The 2013 SEC Champion at 5K and 10K will be the lone Wildcat two compete in two events at NCAAs.
Matt Hillenbrand displayed an impressive kick on the bell lap holding off three rival competitors down the home stretch to win his heat in 3:47.72. The SEC Indoor Mile Champion reached the NCAA Championships for the first time in his career.
Keith Hayes confirmed his spot in the fourth NCAA Outdoor Championships of his stellar career with a wind legal season best 110-meter hurdles time 13.26.
Kayla Parker, a junior team captain, cruised into the NCAA 100-meter hurdles semifinal with a time of 13.26. She will be making her debut appearance at the NCAA Championships.
Seven other Wildcats booked their spots in Eugene on either Thursday or Friday.
Andrew Evans, Rebecca Famurewa and Chelsea Oswald, Raymond Dykstra, Bradley Szypka, Keilah Tyson and Luis Orta all qualified for NCAAs before Saturday.
Tamyah Pipkin posted a .03-second wind legal collegiate best time 23.64 in the 200 meters. She was fifth in her heat and placed 15th overall.
Cally Macumber was heartbreakingly sixth in the second 5K heat missing the automatic qualifying place by a spot. She was 13th overall.
Macumber concludes a spectacular breakout 2012-13 season having been named First Team All-American in cross country as well as in the distance medley relay and 3K indoors. She also was SEC Champion in cross country and the 3K.
Allison Peare was eighth in heat two of the women’s 1,500m with a time of 4:22.50. She placed 16th overall. Peare closes a great 2012-13 season having been First Team All-American in the DMR and All-Southeast Region in cross country.
The UK women’s 4x100-meter relay team was disqualified for passing the baton outside the zone on the first exchange.
Kentucky advanced three men -- Luis Orta, Raymond Dykstra and Andrew Evans – to Nationals in 2012.
17 Gators Qualify for NCAA Championships to Close East Preliminary Round
GREENSBORO, N.C. - 17 Gator qualifiers advanced to the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships on the final day of competition in Greensboro as the NCAA East Preliminary Round came to a close. In all, a program-record 28 qualifiers will make the trek from Gainesville to Eugene as 14 women, 11 men and three relays will represent the Orange and Blue at historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon.
"We had a phenomenal day across the board and I couldn't be more proud of all of our athletes," Florida head coach Mike Holloway said. "We challenged them after the first day to not get down and to keep fighting and they did that. I'm so proud of our athletes, coaches, trainers, support staff and everyone associated with the program."
Along with the new program record, the 15 Gator women qualified for NCAAs is also a Florida record and the 13 UF men is the second-most qualifiers in program history. The Orange and Blue qualified a program-record 16 men in 2011.
In the men's hammer throw, Jeremy Postin (Andover, Kan.) and Kyle Strawn (Temecula, Calif.) were the first Gators of the day to advance to Eugene. Postin tossed a mark of 67.81m/222-6 on his final throw of the third flight to earn the top qualifier spot out of the East. For Strawn, his second throw of 63.07m/206-11 punched his ticket to TrackTown. This will be Strawn's first NCAA Championships, improving his PB from 56.11m/184-1 as a freshman at UCSB to 66.90m/219-6 as a Gator, a difference of over 35 feet.
In the men's triple jump, senior Omar Craddock (Killeen, Texas) and sophomore Marquis Dendy (Middletown, Del.) advanced to the NCAA Championships by finishing 1-2 in the event Saturday. Craddock used his opening jump to lead from the get-go, leaping 16.04m/52-7.50 to make the two-time NCAA Champion the only athlete in the field to surpass the 16-meter mark. Dendy's first jump of the finals, a leap of 15.78m/51-9.25, proved to be his best and catapulted him in the overall standings from 13th to second behind Craddock.
"I'm proud of both Omar and Marquis for qualifying in the men's triple jump," Holloway said. "For Marquis to bounce back after a disappointment in the men's long jump, it says a lot about his determination and work ethic. Today, Omar was Omar and he delivered just like he does every meet. I'm very pleased with both of their performances."
Both Gators competing in the women's javelin advanced to the NCAA finals site, as Marija Vucenovic (Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia) and Fawn Miller (Stoneboro, Pa.) turned in top-five finishes to qualify for the event in Eugene. Vucenovic utilized her first mark of the competition to seal her postseason fate, throwing 51.92m/170-4. Miller's second attempt was her best of the day as she was one of only five athletes to break the 50-meter mark at 50.01m/164-1.
2013 SEC Outdoor Champion in the women's triple jump, Ciarra Brewer (Union City, Calif.) advanced to her second straight NCAA Outdoor Championships appearance. The Gator sophomore had an easier day than most, passing her jumps in the final after landing a mark of 13.10m/42-11.75 to qualify second overall.
On the track, the Florida men's 4x100-meter relay team of Antwan Wright (Riviera Beach, Fla.), Hugh Graham, Jr. (Miami, Fla.), Leonardo Seymore (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) and Dedric Dukes (Miami, Fla.) advanced out of their quarterfinal for Eugene, winning the second heat of the event in 39.32 to give UF its first race qualifier of Saturday.
The women's 4x4 will also be competing in Eugene, finishing second in their quarterfinal and fourth overall in 3:32.68 courtesy of Robin Reynolds (Miami, Fla.), Amani Bryant (Tampa, Fla.), Destinee Gause (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) and Ebony Eutsey (Miami, Fla.)
Dukes and Graham, Jr. were also members of Florida's 4x400-meter relay, teaming up with freshmen Najee Glass (Woodbridge, N.J.) and Arman Hall (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) to run the fastest qualifying time in the East Preliminary Round in 3:04.99.
"We take a lot of pride in our 4x4s and I couldn't be more proud of their performances today," Holloway spoke. "For Amani to step in after the disappointment of just not making the national meet in the 400 hurdles, I thought she performed like a senior and came through for us. As for the men, this was their first race since Texas Relays and they did what they've done all year: they followed the race plan and focused on the Gators."
Dukes advanced in the men's 200 meters as well, racing to a time of 20.68 to finish second in his heat and sixth overall. He was joined in the 200-meter group by Gause and Darshay Davis (Mirimar, Fla.), who both advanced on the women's side. Gause ran a new personal best with her time of 23.19 to improve her standing as seventh all-time in program history.
Davis was the final qualifier on time in a season's best of 23.57 to advance to Eugene in the 200. Davis qualified in the 100 meters as well, marking the second consecutive year she qualified for NCAAs in both the 100 and 200 meters. Davis also qualified in the women's 200 in her rookie campaign.
"Darshay continues to amaze me," Holloway noted. "She turns it on when it matters and I just couldn't be more pleased that she'll be competing in her third NCAA Outdoors.
"I'm very proud of all three of our qualifiers in the 200," Holloway continued. "This is Dedric's first meet since his injury at Florida Relays and I thought he performed at a very high level. Destinee is really contributing as just a freshman and we always expect big things from her."
Junior Eddie Lovett (West Palm Beach, Fla.) emerged as the top overall qualifier in the men's 110-meter hurdles with a new personal best of 13.39 (+0.6). The time improves his standing as the second-fastest hurdler in Florida program history. Lovett already holds the UF 60-meter hurdles record courtesy of his 2013 NCAA Championship final performance of 7.50.
Senior All-American Ugonna Ndu (Newark, N.J.) advanced to Eugene in her second event of the weekend, finishing second in her women's 100-meter hurdles quarterfinal and fifth overall in 13.24 (+0.7). Ndu qualified for the finals site in the women's 400-meter hurdles as well, advancing as the top qualifier with her time of 57.08.
"Eddie and Ugonna both did a great job today," Holloway commented. "Eddie continues to improve as the season progresses. For Ugonna to advance in both of her events, she's just really coming through in her senior year. They've both developed a strong bond with Coach (Erin) Tucker and it shows."
LSU’S NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP ROSTER IS SET AT 24 AFTER FINAL DAY IN GREENSBORO
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Their rosters are now set for the semifinal round of the 2013 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships as the Tigers and Lady Tigers wrapped up Saturday’s action at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds with a combined 24 semifinalists as each team will feature 12 qualifiers in Eugene, Ore., in less than two weeks.
The Top 12 finishers in each open and relay event over the past three days of competition at North Carolina A&T’s Irwin Belk Track earned the right to compete for a national championship while moving on to Eugene.
The University of Oregon will play host to the semifinal and final rounds of this year’s NCAA Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field as teams will wrap up the 2013 collegiate season on June 5-8.
“Today was another great day for both our teams in terms of giving ourselves the best opportunity to compete in Eugene,” said LSU head coach Dennis Shaver. “We got it going early on in some of the field events, and really kept it going in our quarterfinal races on the track. I’m proud of the focus showed by our athletes today making it through to the semifinals.
“That’s about all we can ask for from our athletes in three days here in Greensboro. We advanced just about everybody to the semifinals that we thought would make it, and even added a few qualifiers along the way that maybe we weren’t expecting to make it through. We’re excited about the group we’ll be taking to Eugene.”
Tiger freshman Fitzroy Dunkley turned in perhaps the highlight of the day while qualifying for his first triple jump semifinals as he leaped to a nearly two-foot personal best on his third jump of the qualifying round.
While posting a best of 49 feet, 3 ½ inches through two rounds of the competition, Dunkley took to the runway for one final jump in what appeared to be his last competition of the 2013 season. But the freshman from Trelawny, Jamaica, hit the board and jumped a new personal best of 51-5 (+0.9) on his last attempt of the prelims to soar to the top of the leaderboard through two flights.
Dunkley, who passed his final three jumps in the finals, was overtaken by just two jumpers in the finals as Florida’s duo of Omar Craddock (52-7 ½) and Marquis Dendy (51-9 ¼) took the top two spots. Dunkley eclipsed his previous PR of 49-8 ¼ set in a 10th-place finish in his last triple jump at the SEC Outdoor Championships on May 12.
The Tigers and Lady Tigers then opened Saturday’s quarterfinals on the track in the 4x100-meter relay while dominating their respective heats with two of the fastest times of the day.
First up were the Lady Tigers, as senior Latoya McDermott, senior Kimberlyn Duncan, junior Takeia Pinckney and junior Toshika Sylvester teamed to win the first women’s heat in 43.81 seconds. LSU’s women won their heat by more than half second ahead of Coastal Carolina’s 44.48. Other heat winners in the women’s 4x100 relay were Central Florida in 43.85 and Clemson in 44.30.
The Tigers followed by taking the third quarterfinal heat in the men’s 4x100-meter relay with a time of 39.19 as senior Damar Forbes, sophomore Aaron Ernest, freshman Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake and junior Shermund Allsop posted the second-fastest time of the evening. LSU’s SEC Champions joined fellow heat winners Alabama with a time of 39.09 and Florida with a time of 39.32.
After leading their teams into the national semifinals of the 4x100-meter relay, Duncan, Ernest and Mitchell-Blake each lit up the track with strong performances in advancing to the 200-meter semifinals.
Duncan, the two-time defending NCAA Outdoor Champion in the event, will look to make history as the first sprinter in NCAA history – male or female – to win three-straight NCAA Outdoor 200-meter titles as she was an easy winner in the second quarterfinal heat on Friday night. The Lady Tiger great jogged across the finish line in 22.97 (+0.7) for the third-fastest heat-winning time of the evening.
Ernest and Mitchell-Blake then smashed their personal bests in the 200-meter dash by nearly two tenths of a second as Ernest took the tape in the second men’s quarterfinal in 20.38 (+1.2) and Mitchell-Blake took the fourth spot in the first heat in 20.76 (+1.7) to earn their spot on LSU’s roster making the trip to Eugene. Ernest ran the third-fastest time of Friday’s quarterfinal round while breaking his previous PR of 20.53 set in taking home the World Junior silver medal a year ago. Mitchell-Blake took down his best of 20.92 set in the first round on Thursday night.
Lady Tiger junior Jasmin Stowers continued the momentum on the track as she added her name to LSU’s roster of national semifinalists by advancing on time in the quarterfinals of the 100-meter hurdles. Stowers was the fifth-place finisher in the third heat with a time of 13.29 (+0.5) to grab the 12th and final spot into the semifinals.
Senior Shanekia Hall followed Stowers across the finish line in sixth place in the last quarterfinal heat as she clocked a seasonal best of 13.39 for 16th place in the final standings of the women’s sprint hurdles.
As darkness fell on a cool evening at Irwin Belk Track, senior Laura Carleton added her name to LSU’s growing list of NCAA semifinalists as she gained automatic qualification in the women’s 5,000 meters by claiming the fourth spot in the second heat with the eighth-best time of the day at 16 minutes, 12.09 seconds. It marks the first time in her career that Carleton will line up in the national 5k semifinals.
Both teams then wrapped up the meet by qualifying in the 4x400-meter relay as the Tigers clocked the third-fastest time of the day at 3:06.29 and the Lady Tigers clocked the fifth-fastest time of the day at 3:34.20.
The Tigers ran with a relay team of sophomore Quincy Downing (46.96), senior Caleb Williams (46.71), freshman Cyril Grayson (46.77) and freshman Darrell Bush (45.85), while the Lady Tigers countered with their group of senior Siedda Herbert (54.22), junior Nikita Tracey (53.51), sophomore Montenae Roye-Speight (53.99) and junior Natoya Goule (52.48).
“We’ve done just about all we can do to this point to give ourselves the best opportunity to compete for a national championship when we go to Oregon in a couple of weeks,” Shaver said following the competition. “I am so very proud of the way our athletes represented themselves and our program here this weekend in the way they competed from the very start.
“We look forward to more of the same from this group now in the semifinal and final rounds of this NCAA meet. We need to compete the same level of intensity there that we showed here this weekend.”
After opening the women’s triple jump competition with a mark of 41-3 ¾ on her very first attempt, Lady Tiger junior Lynnika Pitts qualified for the final in 15th place after matching her effort of 41-3 ¾ on her third jump of the preliminary round. The NCAA Indoor All-American then followed with an identical jump of 41-3 ¾ on her fourth attempt, but was unable to improve in the final two rounds as she took 15th place overall.
Two members of the LSU throws group fell just one spot short of advancing to the finals in their respective events during Saturday’s finale at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds as sophomore Jeremy Tuttle earned 17th place in the men’s hammer throw with a mark of 193-2 and freshman Doren Welch took 17th place in the women’s javelin throw with her mark of 149-10 in the qualifying rounds.
Lady Tiger sophomore Tori Bliss came up two spots shy of advancing to the final 16 in the women’s shot put as she threw a series-best of 50-5 ½ on her second attempt for 18th place overall.
Gamecocks Earn Three More NCAA Bids on Final Day of Prelims
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Seniors Kierre Beckles and Breanna Radford earned individual bids to the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships on the final day of competition at the NCAA East Preliminary. The women’s 4x100-meter relay also booked a trip for Eugene, Ore. on Saturday evening at Irwin Belk Track.
The South Carolina women’s track and field team advanced nine of their 10 entries at the NCAA Preliminary Round to the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships. The Gamecocks qualified 10 total with nine individuals and one relay.
The women’s 4x100-meter relay quartet of freshman Tyler Brockington, sophomore Tamera Harris, junior Vashti Bandy and sophomore Ahtyana Johnson ran a season-best 44.62 to kick off the day’s running events. By finishing in the top three of their heat, the foursome earned a spot for the Gamecocks in Eugene.
Beckles secured her second career NCAA Championship appearance in the women's 100-meter hurdles later on in the day. Running in the first of three heats, Beckles recorded a top-three finish in her race with a time of 13.17 to book her ticket. In 2011, Beckles placed sixth overall at the NCAA Championships, a program-best finish in the 100-meter hurdles.
Radford will make her first trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships after qualifying in the women’s shot put. While her mark of 52’4” (15.95m) was off her season-best, the senior was able to position herself in the top 12 after narrowly missing out on a shot the previous two seasons.
VOL 4x100mR PUNCHES FINAL NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP TICKET ON SATURDAY
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Volunteer 4x100-meter relay became Tennessee’s ninth 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championship qualifier on Saturday, the final day of competition at the NCAA East Preliminary Round at Irwin Belk Track at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, N.C.
The quartet, made up of Arnez Hardnick, Jarael Nelvis, Reggie Juin and Jamol James, returns to nationals for the second straight season after posting a seventh-place finish and earning first team All-America status in 2012.
With three heats of competitors, the top three teams from each heat and the next three fastest teams advanced to NCAAs, slated for June 5-8 at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. Hardnick, Nelvis, Juin and James – running in that order – finished the lap in a season-best time of 39.58 seconds. The Vols finished fifth overall and earned an automatic bid with a second-place finish in the third heat.
The foursome will join fellow Vols Tavis Bailey (discus), Jake Blankenship (pole vault), Chase Brannon (pole vault), Tyler Porter (pole vault) and Kyle Quinn (javelin) at the NCAA Championships.
Despite not capturing any NCAA berths on Saturday, the Lady Vols will send Felicia Brown (400m), Kia Jackson (long jump) and Nijgia Snapp (800m) to Eugene for the meet.
“We came to Greensboro and had some solid performances,” said Director of Track & Field/Cross Country J.J. Clark. “We expected some and others were unexpected. We also had athletes that we expected to qualify not make it. But as a whole, the team stepped up and had some good performances. The group that’s going to NCAAs – with the exception of Nijgia – is all returning next season. That is a huge positive for us and the start of something good for Tennessee track & field.
“I was very happy to see Kyle bounce back after his injury at the SEC meet, Felicia really stepped up with her PR in the 400m and the 4x1 ran a great race,” Clark said. “Those are positives for our program and we’re looking forward to building upon those at nationals.”
In other action Saturday, redshirt senior Bianca Blair posted a lifetime-best in the 100m hurdles, but her 15th-place finish just missed the NCAA cut. Blair crossed the line in 13.38 seconds. She posted a wind-aided mark of 13.35 in the opening round on Friday.
Lady Vol thrower Cassie Wertman also carded a 15th-place finish on the final day of competition, ending up just three spots outside of the qualifiers. Wertman recorded a mark of 51-feet, 4.5-inches (15.66m) in the shot put.
Back on the track, the Vol 4x400m relay finished just off the pace of their season-best time, clocking in at 3 minutes, 8.97 seconds. Finishing sixth in the third and final heat, Nelvis, Antonio Carter, Michael Williams and Terrance Livingston closed the night with a 16th-place finish, just four spots outside of national qualifying.
Three Rebels Qualify For NCAA Finals During East Prelims
GREENSBORO, N.C. – At the end of the three-day NCAA East Preliminary Round, three members of the 13th-ranked Ole Miss men’s squad qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in four different events.
Isiah Young led the way over the weekend, advancing to the national finals (June 5-8 in Eugene, Ore.) in the 100 meters and 200 meters. After setting a school and East preliminary record with a 9.99 in the 100 on Thursday, he advanced with the top quarterfinal time of 10.01 on Friday. The senior from Junction City, Kan., qualified for Eugene in the 200 meters with the second-fastest quarterfinal time of 20.31 on Saturday.
Young might have made it three events in Eugene as the Rebels came in with one of the nation’s top times in the 4x100 meter relay. A faulty handoff in Saturday’s quarterfinals derailed those plans, though.
Young will be making his third appearance at an NCAA Championship and is one of the favorites in both short sprints. In his previous championships, Young placed fourth in the 200 and ninth in the 100 at the 2012 outdoor meet and seventh in the 60 at the 2012 indoor meet.
Also advancing to nationals on Saturday was senior Morris Kersh in the triple jump. The Pearl, Miss., native placed 10th with a mark of 50-5.25, earning one of the 12 spots to advance to Eugene. Kersh previously competed at the 2011 NCAA outdoor meet, making second-team All-America with a 14th-place result.
On Thursday, sophomore Sam Kendricks placed top 12 in the pole vault to advance to Eugene. A native of Oxford, Miss., Kendricks will be making his third straight appearance at an NCAA national meet. He earned All-America honors by placing 10th at last year’s outdoor meet and third at this year’s indoor championships.
Just missing a berth in Eugene was the men’s 4x400 meter relay squad of Dante Oliver, Montez Griffin, Creighton Serrette and Anthony Branch. They finished 14th in the quarterfinals with a time of 3:08.70.
The trio of Rebel men joins junior Mary Ashton Nall, who qualified for Eugene as the No. 23 national seed in the women’s heptathlon. The multi-events are not part of the preliminary sites. It will be her first career appearance at an NCAA Championships.
Sam Humphreys breaks javelin school record, now No. 7 on all-time collegiate list
AUSTIN – A school record in the javelin and a pair of surprises highlighted the final day of the NCAA West preliminary rounds for Texas A&M at Myers Stadium on Saturday. One hiccup involved the men’s sprint relay as the Aggies qualified 15 more entries and three of four relays for the NCAA Championships in Eugene.
In total No. 2 Texas A&M will have 30 athletes at Hayward Field involved in 21 events among its 36 entries. The breakdown includes 17 athletes for the men in 12 events with 20 entries while the women have 13 athletes in nine events with 16 entries.
Sam Humphreys broke his own school record with a javelin toss that measured 268 feet, 8 inches (81.90) in posting the top mark at the NCAA West preliminary round. The effort by Humphreys topped his school record of 268-7 (81.86) that he threw to win the U.S. Olympic Trials last summer.
“I really only wanted to do the one-and-done, but I messed up on my first throw,” noted Humphreys. “I felt good today and wasn’t expecting that far of a throw. I’m just elated to be going to nationals for a fourth consecutive year. Now I’ll have to see what I can at nationals.
“The first throw slipped out of my hands. I knew I just had to throw what I’ve been throwing this season and not worry about what place I get. I hit it nice, but I thought it was a bad throw since I didn’t like the way it felt. It just carried out there. I guess the wind kept pushing it.”
Humphreys moves to No. 7 on the all-time collegiate list and is the fourth best American collegian as he remains undefeated in his senior campaign. Humphreys has been the U.S. and collegian leader in 2013 since opening with a 267-1 (81.40) in mid-March at the Arizona State Baldy Castillo Invitational.
Joining Humphreys in advancing to Eugene is teammate Devin Bogert, who neared his season best with a 231-5 (70.55) to place ninth.
Humphreys topped the field of 48 throwers by 10 feet, 8 inches as two-time defending NCAA champion Tim Glover followed with a 258-0 (78.65) while Oregon’s Sam Crouser was third with a 257-8 (78.53). Humphreys mark is also No. 15 on the current world list in 2013.
“I’ve never been undefeated this late into the season at any point in my career,” said Humphreys.HuhAH “Let’s just hope it keeps going all the way through nationals. It will be an ideal finish if I can place higher than what I did last year. Getting first place is definitely on my mind right now.”
A surprise finish for the Aggies came in the men’s triple jump as Dave Brown won the event with a leap of 53-0 (16.15). He entered the meet with a season and career best of 50-9.5 (15.48). In the prelims Brown had a best of 51-8.25 (15.75) from his flight, placing him eighth going into the final three rounds.
After falling back to ninth place, Brown’s big leap vaulted him into first place and is equal to the No. 6 mark on the Aggie all-time list as he matched the mark set in 2005 by Andrew Gamble.
Another pleasant surprise came in the women’s javelin as Kendall Munoz threw a career best of 155-7 (47.43) in the second round to qualify for the finals out of flight two. She was one of three freshmen to accomplish that feat. After the final three rounds Munoz became one of eight freshmen to make the 12-thrower field from the NCAA West meet.
With five triple jumpers in the field the Aggie women advanced LaQue Moen-Davis and Jennifer Madu to the NCAA Championships as they finished third and ninth. Moen-Davis, who already qualified for a trip to Eugene in the long jump, hit a mark of 43-10.5 (13.37) while Madu produced a windy mark of 42-8 (13.00w).
Other jumpers in the event for A&M included Melissa Mays, who placed 19th with a 41-5 (12.62), Jordan Wilson, who finished 26th with a windy 41-0.25 (12.50w), and Haley Gooch, who was 28th with a 40-9.75 (12.44).
In the 4x100 relays the Aggie women eased through to Eugene while the A&M men had difficulties with the final exchange due to obstruction from another team. Following a protest and video review the disqualification for passing out of the zone was upheld.
The Texas A&M women, stationed in lane one, cruised to a 43.68 clocking to win the heat and post the second fastest time as Kansas won the final heat in 43.56. Running for A&M were LaKeidra Stewart, Ashton Purvis, Kamaria Brown and Jennifer Madu.
Also advancing are Oregon (44.31), Texas (43.96), USC (44.38), Nevada (44.56), Houston (44.40), TCU (44.68), Arizona (44.75), UNLV (44.79), Texas Tech (44.92) and Baylor (44.95).
Donique’ Flemings and Wayne Davis II each had impressive heat victories in the sprint hurdles to qualify for the NCAA semifinals in Eugene.
In the 100 hurdles Flemings clocked 13.08 (1.6 wind) to defeat UTEP’s Janice Jackson (13.18). The top time in the 100 hurdles was 13.06 run by Brea Buchanan of UCLA and Sharika Nelvis of Arkansas State.
Davis, meanwhile, produced the fastest collegiate time this season under any conditions with a 13.27 (2.1 wind). The next best time was Oregon’s Johnathan Cabral with a 13.47 while Ray Stewart of California had the third best time at 13.65. Davis blasted out of the blocks and bettered his heat by a solid margin as a 13.64 by Keiron Stewart of Texas placed second.
The 200 had six Aggies advancing with top three finishes for all six, three for the women and three for the men.
For the women Kamaria Brown rolled to a 22.73 (1.2 wind) heat win with Ashton Purvis in third with a 23.55. Then Olivia Ekpone charged to the finish to claim her heat in 23.17 over Texas Tech’s Cierra White (23.28). Brown’s time was the top time with a 22.93 from Paris Daniels of Kansas second best.
Prezel Hardy, Jr. placed third in the first men’s 200 heat w9ith a 20.78. In the third heat Ameer Webb cruised to a 20.39 victory with Michael Bryan taking second in 20.91. Jermaine Davis finished seventh in another heat, running 21.63. Webb, Hardy and Bryan qualified for the NCAA semifinals in both the 100 and 200.
Henry Lelei advanced in another event as he won his 5,000 heat in 14:11.52. He moved from 11th to 4th on the second to last lap and then charged to the finish line for the win, completing his last 1000m with a split of 2:28.4. Finishing second in 14:11.95 was Oklahoma State’s Kirubei Erassa.
Closing out the meet with the 4x400 relays the Aggies advanced both squads. The women were second in their heat with a 3:31.61 behind the 3:28.92 posted by Arkansas. Running for A&M were Ekpone (53.7), Ibukun Mayungbe (52.4), Stewart (53.3) and Brown (52.2).
The Aggie men cruised to a 3:02.55 victory in the first heat of the 4x400 relays with Oregon second in 3:04.16, and Kansas third in 3:04.93. The A&M foursome included Ricky Babineaux (47.5), Aldrich Bailey, Jr. (45.0), Carlyle Roudette (45.5) and Deon Lendore (44.5).