EUGENE, Ore. (6/8/16) – Arkansas State had two athletes competing in day one of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Wednesday with junior Roelf Pienaar earning a silver medal in the men's long jump competition.
Pienaar made his sixth career appearance at the NCAA Championships in the long jump and got off to a great start. He posted a leap of 7.93m (26-00.25) on his first attempt and was the leader heading into the final three attempts. He was unable to improve upon that mark over his next five attempts, but maintained the second place ranking. He sailed to a mark of 7.91m (25-11.50) in his first attempt of the finals, his best leap of the three jumps.
"Roelf really competed well and was leading up until the fourth round," said A-State head coach Jim Patchell. "The win was swirling and caused a lot of the other athletes some problems, but he handled it well. He was going for the win and had a great last jump off the board, but lost control of the landing. Second is his highest placing at nationals and we are proud of all he has accomplished this year."
The silver medal finish is the highest by an A-State male student-athlete at the NCAA Outdoor Championships since 1990. That year, Kelly Riley took silver in the pole vault. Pienarr is the fourth A-State male student-athlete to earn a silver medal outdoors. The medal is the third for Pienaar's career, second outdoors, after a third place finish outdoors last season and a bronze medal at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Championships.
Jarrion Lawson of Arkansas posted a jump of 8.13m (26-08.25) on his first attempt of the finals and improved to 8.15m (26-09.00) on his second attempt to edge out Pienaar for the crown. KeAndre Bates of Florida finished third with a leap of 7.82m (25-08.00).
Jaylen Bacon made his debut on the NCAA Championships stage and earned second team All-American honors with a 12th-place finish in the 100-meter dash semifinal. Bacon ran in the first heat and finished fourth with a time of 10.31 seconds. The top two finishers from each of the three heats in addition to the next two fastest times advanced to the final on Friday.
"Jaylen had a great start, but at about 50 meters his knee started bothering him and he just didn't have that extra gear," said Patchell. "He is disappointed, but now we just need to concentrate on getting him healthy."
Thursday, A-State will have Kristina Knott and Erin Farmer in competition. Thursday's competition can be seen on ESPNU from 6:30 – 7:00 p.m. CT before switching to ESPN from 7:00 – 9:30 p.m.
Sophomore Kristina Knott competes in the women's 100-meter dash semifinal at 7:46 p.m. (CT) on Thursday. Knott finished 11th at the NCAA West Region with a time of 11.52 seconds. Knott made her debut at the NCAA Championships in the 60-meter dash indoors this season, finishing 15th. Knott will run in lane one of the second of three heats Thursday. The top two finishers from each heat, plus the next two fastest times advance to the 100-meter dash final slated for Saturday at 6:22 p.m. (CT).
Junior Erin Farmer is slated for an 8:30 p.m. (CT) start in the women's shot put. Farmer finished fourth at the NCAA West Region with a throw of 17.03m (55-10.50) and heads to the NCAA Championships for the first time. She will throw 11th out of flight two and look to finish in the top-nine after three throws to advance to the finals 20 minutes later.
Live results will be available and notables will be tweeted on @AStateGameday with daily recaps on AStateRedWolves.com.
Thursday, June 9
7:46 PM (CT) – Kristina Knott | 100-Meter Dash | Heat 2 of 3
8:30 PM (CT) – Erin Farmer | Shot Put | Flight 2 of 2