JONESBORO, AR (ASU) – Entrants for the 2015 NCAA West Preliminary Championships were finalized Thursday and the Arkansas State University track and field program will send 11 men and five women to the meet at the University of Texas, May 28-30.
“We've got a great group qualified to regionals,” A-State head coach Jim Patchell said. “All have done an outstanding job this year in preparation for this meet and we have a good shot at getting several to the next round in Eugene.”
Of the 16 athletes to represent A-State at the meet, eight are freshmen. Kristina Knott (100m/200m), Keturah Smith (400m), Darragh May (high jump), Calea Carr (discus throw) and Erin Farmer (shot put) have qualified for the women's meet while Jaylen Bacon (100m/200m/4x100m relay), Joey Meyer (4x100m relay), Roelf Pienaar (long jump/4x100m relay), Elijah Ross (4x100m relay), Henry Offiah (4x100m relay alternate), Jonah Wiley (long jump), Will Oliver (long jump), Richard Chavez (shot put/discus throw), Cristian Ravar Ladislau (hammer throw), Billy Ellis (110m hurdles) and Ethan Sandusky (pole vault) will compete on the men's side.
Roelf Pienaar leads the west region and the NCAA in long jump with his school and Sun Belt Conference record long jump of 8.13m (26-08.25). Pienaar will also compete in the 4x100m relay with Jaylen Bacon, Elijah Ross and Joey Meyer. Henry Offiah is listed as an alternate for the relay squad that posted a school record at the SBC Championships of 39.98 seconds. The A-State 4x100m relay time is seeded 15th entering the meet.
Senior pole vaulter Ethan Sandusky ranks seventh among qualifiers with a mark of 5.45m (17-10.50). With the vault at the SBC Championships, Sandusky became the first to vault 5.45m or better since Jon Kelley (5.50m) in 1992.
Senior Richard Chavez will compete in the shot put and discus throw at Mike A. Myers Stadium. Chavez is seventh in the region with a shot put of 19.37m (63-06.75), an A-State record. He enters the meet 46th in the discus throw with a measurement of 53.28m (174-09.00). Joining Chavez in field event competition will be freshman Cristian Ravar Ladislau who is ranked 45th in the hammer throw (59.24m/194-04.00).
Along with running in the 4x100m relay, Bacon will show his speed in the 100 and 200-meter dash. The true freshman ranks ninth among the field in the 100-meter dash (10.10 seconds) and 17th in the 200-meter dash (20.71).
Sophomore Erin Farmer ranks 32nd in the shot put with a mark of 15.57m (51-01.00) and freshman Calea Carr, who ranks 33rd in the discus throw (52.36m/171-09.00), will join her in field event competition. Freshman Darragh May will contend for a top finish in the high jump, ranking 34th among entrants with a mark of 1.76m (5-09.25).
On the track, the A-State women will have freshmen Kristina Knott and Keturah Smith. Knott will race in the 100 and 200-meter dash. She ranks 33rd in the 200m (23.72 seconds) and 37th in the 100m (11.62 seconds). Smith is seeded 44th in the 400m dash entering the meet with a time of 54.23 seconds.
Junior Billy Ellis makes the list of qualifiers in the 110-meter hurdles, seeded 36th with a time of 14.19 seconds. Jonah Wiley (37th) and Will Oliver (46th) join Pienaar in the long jump competition. Wiley posted a season-best mark of 7.40m (24-03.50) while Oliver had a best of 7.35m (24-01.50).
Athletes who rank among the top 48 in their respective event earn berths into the NCAA West Preliminary Round. The best 24 relay times also advanced to NCAA prelims. Athletes with the top 12 times/marks and the best 12 relay teams at both the East and West prelims will qualify for the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon, June 10-13. There is no decathlon or heptathlon competition at the NCAA preliminary rounds. The top 24 decathlon and heptathlon marks in the nation earn an automatic berth to the NCAAs.
The 2015 NCAA West Preliminary Championships begin Thursday, May 28, at 12 p.m. with the men's discus throw competition. The women's 400m hurdles at 4:30 p.m. is the first event on the track. Stay up to date with information on A-State Track and Field by following @AStateTrack on Twitter.
Arkansas State 2015 NCA West Preliminary Qualifiers Women FR – Kristina Knott > 100m Dash – 37th (11.62) 200m dash – 33rd (23.72) FR – Keturah Smith > 400m Dash – 44th (54.23) FR – Darragh May > High Jump – 34th (1.76m/5-09.25) SO – Erin Farmer > Shot Put – 32nd (15.57m/51-01.00) FR – Calea Carr > Discus Throw – 33rd (52.36m/171-09.00)
Men FR – Jaylen Bacon > 100m Dash – 9th (10.10) 200m dash – 17th (20.71) 4x100m relay – 15th (39.98) JR – Billy Ellis > 110m Hurdles – 36th (14.19) SR – Ethan Sandusky > Pole Vault – 7th (5.45m/17-10.50) SO – Roelf Pienaar > Long Jump – 1st (8.13m/26-08.25) 4x100m relay – 15th (39.98) FR – Jonah Wiley > Long Jump – 37th (7.40m/24-03.50) SR – Will Oliver > Long Jump – 46th (7.35/24-01.50) SR – Richard Chavez > Shot Put – 7th (19.37m/63-06.75) Discus Throw – 46th (53.28m/174-09.00) FR – Cristian Ravar Ladislau > Hammer Throw – 45th (59.24m/194-04.00) SR – Joey Meyer > 4x100m relay – 15th (39.98) FR – Elijah Ross > 4x100m relay – 15th (39.98) JR – Henry Offiah > 4x100m relay – 15th (39.98) *Alternate*