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    NCAA Track/Field Recaps: June 6

    Ole Miss’ Young Advances To 200m Final Thursday

    EUGENE, Ore. – Isiah Young made some school history on Thursday as he advanced through the 200-meter semifinals at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships at historic Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus.

    The Ole Miss senior advanced to the 200-meter final one day after he qualified for the 100-meter final, becoming the first athlete in program history to make the NCAA finals in both short sprints. Young cruised to second place in his heat with a speedy time of 20.12, which is four-hundredths of a second faster than the school record he set last year at the U.S. Olympic Trials when he qualified for the London Olympics. His 20.12 was the fourth-fastest time out of the eight men that qualified for Saturday’s final, set to be run at 4:50 p.m. CT (ESPNU).

    Young earned fourth place in the 200 at last year’s outdoor championships. The only other Rebel to have ever made the 200 final was Tony Dees in 1983, where he finished eighth.

    The two-day women’s heptathlon competition got underway Thursday, and Ole Miss junior Mary Ashton Nall finished the day in 21st place with 3,201 points through four events. She started with a bang in the 100-meter hurdles, clocking a huge personal best of 13.77 that moved her up to sixth place in the Rebel record books. She capped the day with another personal best, clocking a 24.90 in the 200 meters.


    Beckles Competes on Day Two of NCAA Championships Senior All-American places 12th overall

    EUGENE, Ore. – Senior Kierre Beckles placed 12th overall in the women’s 100-meter hurdles on the second day of action at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.  Beckles was the only Gamecock to compete on the second of four days at historic Hayward Field.

    In a speedy field, Beckles, who has been battling injuries, turned in a 13.12 (+1.3) to finish fourth in her heat and 12th overall in the semifinals.  A new collegiate record was set in the semifinals and all eight of the women who advanced recorded sub-13 second times.


    Higgs is NCAA runner-up, team tied for second

    EUGENE, Ore. – At the end of day two of the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., the No. 2 University of Arkansas men’s track and field team is tied for second place with 14 points. Thursday’s action included a second-place finish for Raymond Higgs in the long jump, an eighth-place result for Kevin Lazas in the decathlon and a qualifying run in the 4x400-meter relay. Competition on day three for the Arkansas men starts at 5:20 p.m. (CT).
    With his performance Thursday, Higgs improved upon his bronze finish at last year’s national meet in Des Moines, Iowa. The Razorback junior entered the final round of jumps in third place but moved into second with his day’s best of 8.03m/26-4.25 in the fifth round. Higgs had legal attempts on five of his six passes down the runway, getting out to at least 25-10 in those jumps. His jump Thursday represents the fifth-best all-conditions mark of his career.
    Lazas completed the two-day decathlon with 7,933 points which earned the Razorback junior an eighth-place finish and one point toward the team’s overall total. In the highlight of the day, Lazas won the pole vault competition with a final clearance of 5.30m/17-4.5. He also ran to a personal-best time of 15.08 in the 110-meter hurdles to open the day. His final score was a season best by more than 350 points and just 22 points shy of the school-record score he posted at last year’s NCAA meet in Des Moines.
    In the Razorbacks’ only semifinal action of the day, the 4x400-meter relay team of Neil Braddy, Anton Kokorin, Caleb Cross and Akheem Gauntlett secured a spot in the event final. Arkansas won heat one of the semifinal round with a season-best time of 3:04.00. The Razorbacks are the third-overall qualifier heading into Saturday’s final which will be run at 5:50 p.m. as the last event of the weekend.
    Thursday’s competition also featured a trio of NCAA outdoor first-time competitors in Nathanael Franks in the decathlon, Solomon Haile at 10,000 meters and Jarrion Lawson in the long jump. Franks finished the two-day, 10-event competition in 16th place with 7,469 points and four personal bests. Haile finished 17th in the long-distance race with a time of 30:21.21, while Lawson was 14th overall in the long jump with a mark of 7.60m/24-11.25.
    Arkansas will have five scoring opportunities Friday. Cross and Gauntlett will return to the track for final in the 400-meter hurdles and at 400 meters, respectively. The Razorbacks will also be seeking points at 800 meters with Leoman Momoh, in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with Stanley Kebenei and in the high jump with Anthony May II and Dwayne Golbek.


    Postin Earns Hammer Bronze on Second Day of NCAA Outdoors

    EUGENE, Ore. – Senior Jeremy Postin (Andover, Kan.) ended his career on a solid note, earning bronze in the men’s hammer throw on the second day of the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at historic Hayward Field.

    “Another solid day overall today,” Florida head coach Mike Holloway said. “I was very impressed with Jeremy Postin. After some early struggles in the preliminary round, he bounced back in the final and fought back to finish third in a tight competition.”

    Postin utilized his first toss of the finals to put himself within striking distance of eventual NCAA Champion Tomas Kruzliak, throwing a mark of 68.29m/224-0. Postin turned in his second straight podium finish after his NCAA runner-up performance a year ago.

    Postin finishes his career as the Florida program record-holder in both the men’s hammer throw (70.73m/232-1) and the weight throw (21.60m/70-10.50), while also sweeping the throws titles at the SEC meets in 2012.

    Two Gators and both of Florida’s 4x400-meter relays advanced out of semifinals Thursday, giving the Orange and Blue eight combined finalists for Friday’s and Saturday’s race finals. Both triple jump finals also await the Gators during the last two days of the meet.

    The men’s 4x400-meter relay squad, comprised of Najee Glass (Woodbridge, N.J.), Hugh Graham, Jr. (Miami, Fla.), Dedric Dukes (Miami, Fla.) and Arman Hall (Pembroke Pines, Fla.), won their semifinal and turned in the second-fastest performance of the day with their seasonal best of 3:02.64.

    The time goes down as the 10th-fastest in Florida school history and Hall’s split of 45.46 was the second-fastest of the day behind Texas A&M’s Deon Lendore. The Aggies grabbed the top semifinalist spot in 3:02.38.

    The Gator women’s 4x400-meter relay also produced a strong semifinal outing Thursday with their time of 3:30.48, their second-fastest time of the season and the first time the Gators used the relay lineup of Robin Reynolds (Miami, Fla.), Ebony Eutsey (Miami, Fla.), Ugonna Ndu (Newark, N.J.) and Destinee Gause (Reynoldsburg, Ohio).

    “I was very proud of both relays today, especially the women who were running without Lanie Whittaker (Miami, Fla.), who is out due to injury,” Holloway noted.

    Junior Eddie Lovett (West Palm Beach, Fla.) automatically qualified for the finals of the men’s 110-meter hurdles with his new all-conditions personal best of 13.29 (+2.1). Lovett was the third-fastest qualifier of the day and grabbed the fourth qualifying spot with his second-place finish in his semifinal. Lovett will compete in the finals of the men’s 110-meter hurdles at 3:16 p.m. PT Saturday.

    “I was very pleased with Eddie Lovett today, running the fastest time of his career under all conditions,” Holloway said. “He’s set himself up well for a great final.”

    Junior Cory McGee (Pass Christian, Miss.) advanced in the women’s 1,500 meters, crossing the finish in 4:14.87 to nab an automatic qualifying spot in the first semifinal. McGee led through the middle of the race and was in the lead pack to secure a spot in Saturday’s final at 2:19 p.m. PT.

    “I was very happy with Cory’s performance today,” Holloway commented. “She has now made the final every year she has been at UF.

    “We talked yesterday about increasing our intensity and matching the efforts of the other teams here,” Holloway continued. “I felt we did that today.”

    The four-day meet continues Friday, June 7 and extends through Saturday, June 8. The Gators have a light day Friday with three finals, as sophomore Ciarra Brewer (Union City, Calif.) competes in the women’s triple jump at 3:25 p.m. PT. Brewer is the new Florida school record-holder in the event after her remarkable performance at the SEC Outdoor Championships, setting a new program, facility and meet record with her PR of 13.85m/45-5.25.

    Also competing in finals Friday are Florida record-holder Ndu in the women’s 400-meter hurdles at 4:30 p.m. PT, as well as quartermilers Graham, Jr. and Hall, who will race in the final of the men’s 400 meters at 6:05 p.m. PT.

    “We have done a great job of qualifying and have put ourselves in a position to have a great Championship meet,” Holloway concluded. “We just have to stay focused now and come out here the next two days and compete like the Florida Gators, compete with a lot of pride and passion. If we do that, we will be fine. We want to show Hayward why it’s great to be a Florida Gator.”

    The Gator men are the defending NCAA Outdoor Champions and have placed in the top three at the last four NCAA Outdoor Championships, while the Florida women recorded a third-place finish at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

    A program-record 28 qualifiers made 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. The women are tied with host Oregon for the second-most qualifiers at the NCAA Championships, while the men are also tied with the Ducks for the fourth-most qualifiers in Eugene.

    Along with the new program record, the 15 Gator women (14 individuals, one relay) qualified for NCAAs is also a Florida record and the 13 UF men (11 individuals, two relays) is the second-most qualifiers in program history. The Orange and Blue qualified a UF record 16 men in 2011.


    Alabama Track and Field Scores on Day Two of the NCAA Outdoor Championships

    EUGENE, Ore. – The Alabama track team got on the score board on the second day of the NCAA Championships and is sitting in 21st place on the men’s side after earning top-eight finishes in the hammer throw and the long jump.

    “It was another great day for us,” UA head coach Dan Waters said. “To have two guys score and get us on the board, and to improve on our seedings and come away with personal bests in the biggest meet of the season shows we’re moving in the right direction.”

    Kamal Fuller added three inches to his career-best outdoor mark in the long jump to snag sixth place overall after soaring to 25 inches 8 ¼ inches with his third jump of the day. Fuller’s previous best outdoor mark of 25-5 ¼ came earlier this season. The junior had jumped 25-8 ¼ indoors where he is three-time All-American.

    “I was eighth last year and sixth here, so I’m moving up the totem pole,” Fuller said. “This was a time to stay resilient and to work through and be a competitor.”

    Fuller had been having an up and down outdoor season while battling through some nagging injuries, but he hit Thursday when it was on the line.

    “That was a great way for Kamal to finish off his season, with a big jump at the national championships,” Waters said. “He’s struggled some bit at different points this season, but he focused in this week and fought through for a great performance. He’ll come back next year with another year under his belt and this experience - he’ll be the crafty veteran.”

    Freshman Elias Hakansson finished eighth in the hammer throw with a throw of 213 feet 10 inches in UA’s first event of the day to get the Crimson Tide on the board in the team race. For Hakansson, who owns the top-10 throws in UA history after his rookie season, it was the third best throw of his career, just a matter of inches off his personal best.

    “There are things that I’m working on that will help, but I have to be happy that I scored,” Hakansson said. “I can’t wait to get back to Tuscaloosa and start working on my technique. It’s a methodical step-by-step process and you can’t skip any and be successful.”

    “Talk about invaluable experience,” Waters said. “Elias came in and scored at this meet as a freshman. That’s something he can build on for the next three years. He’s another who has great potential and this performance gives him a great launching pad.”

    Diondre Batson posted a career-best 20.35, shaving nearly two-tenths of a second off his previous best. The sophomore passed Olympian Kirani James and Latonel Williams on the Tide’s all-time 200m list, moving into the third place behind James Mallard (20.07) and Calvin Smith (19.99). Batson returns to action Friday in the finals of the 100, where he was fifth after the semifinals.

    “That was another amazing performance for Diondre,” Waters said. “He staggered out of the block a little, but still shaved almost two tenth off his PR. The way he’s running and competing after being on campus with us for just six months is phenomenal and this experience is going to priceless for him going forward. There were five seniors ahead of him in that race (200m) today. He’s got a big future, and it continues tomorrow and Saturday.”

    The Tide’s 4x400m relay, which included freshmen Dwight Davis and Quincy Smith and juniors Joel Lynch and Ken Taylor, turned in a 3:06.69 to take 12th place. The quartet came in seeded 18th and shaved more than three-tenths of a second off its seed time.

    “That was another great race and a great example of what has made us successful,” Waters said. “We’ve stayed within ourselves and stuck to what has made us successful coming into this meet. That’s allowed us to continue to get better on the biggest stage.”


    Keith Hayes Breaks UK 110m Hurdles Record, Advances to NCAA Final

    EUGENE, Ore. – Keith Hayes took one step closer to solidifying his place as one of the top hurdlers in Kentucky track and field history on Thursday at Hayward Field.

    Hayes ran the fifth fastest time of the 110-meter hurdles NCAA Semifinal Heats, crossing the finish line in 13.32 seconds with a +3.0 meters per second tailwind to advance to the NCAA Championship Final.  He broke two-time Olympian Mikel Thomas’ all-conditions 100m hurdles school-record (13.57w).

    “The cool thing about Keith Hayes is the more the tension rises the more he focuses,” head coach Edrick Floreal said. “With some people the more the tension rises, the more they lose sight of what’s important. His warm up was spectacular. I think he enjoys being the underdog and having to do something great.

    “A lot of people try to shy away from it. If you really think about it if you’ve never been here and expect to do well it’s difficult. He just likes it, he really likes it. Hopefully he can get one more on Saturday and we will be okay.”

    Hayes will race in the NCAA 110m hurdles final at 6:16 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 8.

    Three other Wildcats competed on Thursday, but none reached the final of their events.

    Kayla Parker tied the all-conditions school-record in the 100-meter hurdles as she crossed the finish line in 13.16 with a +2.8 wind at her back. Shonna Johnson ran the same time in Gainesville during the 1998 season.

    “We have not performed up to our expectations as a team thus far,” Floreal said. “The school records and Keith Hayes’ advancement to the final were a much needed boost for our team. We will regroup and prepare for a strong finish on Friday and Saturday.”

    Matt Hillenbrand finished his 1,500m semifinal with a 14th place time of 3:44.48 just .18 seconds of his collegiate best performance. Hillenbrand did not advance to the final, meaning he concluded a junior season in which he won the SEC mile championship, was runner up in the conference 1,500m and advanced to the NCAA Championship for the first time in his career.

    Freshman Rebecca Famurewa fouled on all three of her attempts in the discus throw and did not make the final, concluding a season that saw her earn the SEC Discus Bronze Medal and pick up Freshman All-SEC honors in the weight throw.

    Two Wildcats will compete on Friday as returning Discus All-American Andrew Evans will throw in the first flight of his signature event at 7 p.m. ET.

    Southeastern Conference 5,000-meter Champion Chelsea Oswald will race in the NCAA Final of that event at 9:15 p.m. ET.


    Bougard In 2nd After Three Events Of The Heptathlon

    EUGENE, Ore. – If there’s one thing Erica Bougard understands as well as anyone, it’s putting herself in position to win titles.
    Thursday at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Hayward Field, the sophomore from Byhalia, Miss., totaled 3,581 points in four of the seven heptathlon events to put herself second overall behind SEC champion Makeba Alcide of Arkansas (3,685).
    Bougard, who won the NCAA indoor pentathlon title back in March, was in fifth place entering the 200-meter dash, but ran a personal-best time of 23.84 to climb to second in the standings.
    In the other three events, she ran 13.37 in the 100-meter hurdles, leaped 5-08.75 in the high jump and threw 36-04 in the shot put. Friday, the heptathlon concludes with the long jump, triple jump and 800-meter run.
    “She’s put herself in great position,” MSU coach Steve Dudley said. “To do what she did in the 200 is what a champion is all about.”
    The only other events MSU competed in Thursday were the semifinals of the men’s and women’s 4x400. However, neither team qualified for Saturday’s finals.
    The women’s foursome of Brittany Covington, Jody-Ann Muir, Ste’yce McNeil and Ocian Archer ran 3:52.77, while the men’s team of Tavaris Tate, Randy Patterson, Daundre Barnaby and Brandon McBride just missed on making the final eight as they posted a time of 3:06.17.


    Aggies advance seven entries to NCAA finals, now have 12 for the Championship weekend

    EUGENE – Qualifying from semifinal to final was the mantra for Texas A&M on the second day of the NCAA Championships at Hayward Field as the Aggies didn’t have any entries in the finals that were contested Thursday.

    Texas A&M fared well in moving seven more entries into finals this weekend to join the five entries who advanced on Wednesday. The next batch of qualifiers included Kamaria Brown (200), Olivia Ekpone (200), Ameer Webb (200), Donique’ Flemings (100 hurdles) and Wayne Davis II (110 hurdles) as well as the women’s and men’s 4x400 relay.

    Track finals on Friday for the Aggies include the 100 meters (Ameer Webb, Jennifer Madu), 3,000-meter steeplechase (Henry Lelei) and 400 meters (Deon Lendore) as well as field event finals in the women’s triple jump (LaQue Moen-Davis, Jennifer Madu) and men’s discus (Dalton Rowan).

    The conclusion of the heptathlon will take place for Jena Hemann (3334) and Annie Kunz (3312), who are currently in 14th and 16th place.

    The first set of qualifiers came in the women’s 200 as Kamaria Brown placed second in her heat with a 22.50w (2.7 wind) behind the 22.15w from two-time defending champion Kimberlyn Duncan of LSU. A&M’s Olivia Ekpone was a time qualifier from the first heat as she placed third in 22.91w (2.2). Ashton Purvis finished fourth in the heat with Brown, running 23.33w.

    This marks the fourth time in the past six years the Aggie women will have at least two finalists in the 200 meters. It will also be the seventh consecutive year A&M will score in the event.

    Ameer Webb sped to a sizzling 20.05w (4.3 wind) victory in the first semifinal heat of the men’s 200, passing TCU’s Charles Silmon (20.30w) with 50 meters left.

    At the time Webb produced the third fastest time in the world for 2013 under all-conditions, but ended up with the fifth fastest mark after the semifinal was completed. Webb, who has a wind-legal PR of 20.30, produced the fourth fastest time in A&M history under all-conditions.

    The next two heats also produced very fast winning times as USC’s Bryshon Nellum ran 19.99w (3.2) and Jackson State’s Anaso Jobodwana posted a 20.02w (3.1). A&M’s Prezel Hardy, Jr. placed fifth in the second semi with a 20.54w while Michael Bryan finished sixth in the third semi with a 20.68w.

    Donique’ Flemings set a career best time of 12.95 seconds in the 100 hurdles to advance to the final as the top time qualifier. Clemson’s Brianna Rollins won the heat, running a collegiate record of 12.47 (1.2 wind) to better the 12.48 mark set by Virginia Powell of USC in 2006, while Stanford’s Kori Carter finished second in 12.94.

    Flemings, who placed sixth in the NCAA final a year ago, bettered her PR of 13.00 she set last year. She moves to No. 4 on the Aggie all-time list with the No. 7 performance.

    Wayne Davis II won his heat of the 110 hurdles in an all-conditions personal best of 13.25w (3.0 wind) over a 13.32w by Kentucky’s Keith Hayes. Both time qualifiers also came from Davis’ heat as Greggmar Swift of Indiana State (13.51w) and Colorado State’s Trevor Brown (13.55w) advanced.

    Johnathan Cabral of Oregon (13.46w) and Spencer Adams of Clemson (13.24w) were the other heat winners with Syracuse’s Donald Pollitt (13.55w) and Florida’s Eddie Lovett (13.29w) taking the automatic runner-up positions.

    Davis, a NCAA silver medalist in 2012, recorded the fastest time in Texas A&M history under all-conditions. The previous best mark was a wind-aided 13.26 run by Davis in the NCAA semifinal a year ago in Des Moines, Iowa. The wind-legal Aggie school record is 13.37 shared by Davis and Larry Wade.

    The women’s 4x400 placed second to earn an automatic spot for the final as they ran 3:32.72 behind the 3:30.45 posted by Arkansas. Running for the Aggies were Oliva Ekpone (54.5), Ibukun Mayungbe (53.2), LaKeidra Stewart (52.93) and Kamaria Brown (52.17). Stewart had a solid leg in moving the A&M from fourth to second place on her carry.

    A 3:02.38 from the Aggie men lowered their collegiate leading time for this season from a 3:02.52 at the NCAA West. Strong legs from Ricky Babineaux (46.5), Aldrich Bailey, Jr. (45.7), and Carlyle Roudette (45.77) had A&M in the lead throughout. Then Deon Lendore delivered a split of 44.33 to close out the victory. Oregon finished second to the Aggies in 3:04.20 with Kansas third in 3:05.63.