LAWRENCE, Kan. (5/19/16) – Entrants for the 2016 NCAA West Preliminary Championships were finalized Thursday and the Arkansas State University track and field program will send eight men and six women to the meet at the University of Kansas, May 27-29.
The combined 14 entrants is the second-most in program history record and the 19 events that the student-athletes will compete in sets a new program high. Of the 14 athletes slated to compete, nine are underclassmen. Last year, A-State had 15 athletes in the NCAA West Region competing in 15 events.
Kristina Knott (100m/200m), Keturah Smith (400m), Ivery Guyton (high jump), Shemiah Brooks (100m hurdles/triple jump), Erin Farmer (shot put) and Calea Carr (discus throw) have qualified for the women's meet while Jaylen Bacon (100m/200m), Jamil Peeples (110m hurdles), Wil Norris (3,000m steeplechase), Tiaan Steenkamp (high jump), Sam Bell (pole vault), Roelf Pienaar (long jump/triple jump), Itamar Levi (shot put/discus throw) and Cristian Ravar Ladislau will compete on the men's side.
Farmer, gold medalist at the Sun Belt Championships last week, ranks third nationally in the shot put and second in the NCAA West Region. She posted a throw of 17.80m (58-04.75) to establish a Sun Belt Conference and A-State record. The throw meets the Olympic A Standard and ranks as the 13th-best throw by an American this year.
Pienaar, who won gold medal in both the long and triple jump, enters the NCAA West Region Preliminary with top-10 marks in each event. He has a season-best long jump of 7.87m (25-10.00) and a personal-best triple jump of 15.88m (52-1.25) both coming last week at the outdoor championships.
Levi ranks 13th in the region in the discus throw and 22nd in the shot put. He sat out the indoor season after transferring from Oklahoma State but established a school record in the discus throw with a mark of 57.28m (187-11) earlier this year. He owns a season-best shot put of 18.59m (61-00.00) set at the outdoor championships where he earned silver medals in the discus throw and shot put.
Ravar Ladislau ranks 17th in the hammer throw with a mark of 63.26m (207-6). This will be the first time A-State has competitors in three throwing events at the regional. Carr ranks 33rd in the women's discus throw with a mark of 51.48m (168-11) giving the A-State women multiple throwers in the NCAA Regional for the first time.
On the track, Bacon and Knott will look to duplicate their success at the SBC Outdoor Championships. Bacon, winner of gold medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash at the SBC Outdoor Championships was the high point scorer of the meet. Bacon ranks 13th in the 100-meter dash (10.25) and 17th (20.75) in the 200-meter dash. Knott, also gold medalist in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash along with the high point scorer distinction, ranks 19th in the 100-meter dash (11.43) and 21st in the 200-meter dash (23.30).
Keturah Smith, also a gold medalist last week, ranks 23rd in the 400-meter dash (53.70). Jamil Peeples will compete in the 110-meter hurdles coming in ranked No. 45 (14.32). Wil Norris rounds out the entrants on the track as he ranks 43rd in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (8:59.42).
Elsewhere in the field events, A-State has Bell in the pole vault ranked 36th and Steenkamp in the high jump ranked 37th. Bell brings a season-best vault of 5.20m (17-00.75) to the meet and he earned a silver medal at the SBC Outdoor Championships. Steenkamp, also a silver medalist, has a season-best clearance of 2.12m (6-11.50) in the high jump.
Guyton ranks No. 40 in the women's high jump with a clearance of 1.75m (5-08.75). Brooks, a bronze medalist outdoors, ranks No. 42 in the triple jump with a season-best leap of 12.50m (41-00.25). Brooks will also compete in the 100-meter hurdles, as she is ranked 48th (13.70).
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 2016 NCAA West Preliminary Championships begin Thursday, May 26, at 12 p.m. with the men's hammer throw and women's javelin 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 2016 NCAA West Preliminary Qualifiers
So. Kristina Knott > 100m Dash – 19th (11.43) 200m dash – 21st (23.30)
So. Keturah Smith > 400m Dash – 23rd (53.70)
So. Ivery Guyton > High Jump – 39th (1.75m/5-08.75)
Jr. Shemiah Brooks > 100m Hurdles – 48th (13.70) Triple Jump – 41st (12.50m/41-00.25)
Jr. Erin Farmer > Shot Put – 2nd (17.80m/58-04.75)
So. Calea Carr > Discus Throw – 33rd (51.48m/168-11)