Austin, TX (A-State) – With four more tickets punched to Eugene for the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in two weeks, the Arkansas State University squads will send a school record six student-athletes in seven events to the meet.
"It was an outstanding meet for us to have six athletes qualify," said A-State head coach Jim Patchell. "This is the most we've ever had move on to the national championships and I could not be more proud of our group. We started off the day with Erin (Farmer) setting a school record in the shot put. We knew she would handle business today, but she broke the school record yet again under pressure. Viktoriia (Sadokhina) broke the school record as well and it was so good to see her do that because she's worked hard to come back from an injury and get back to her personal-best. Jaylen (Bacon) had second best time in the 200-meter dash and he's through in two events just as we expected. Tiaan (Steenkamp) did a good job in a pressure situation in the high jump and made a bar that he had to clear under pressure."
Erin Farmer broke her own school record in the shot put with a throw of 18.12m (59-05.50). Her throw ranks as the best among competitors in the event at both the NCAA East and NCAA West regions this weekend.
Viktoriia Sadokhina broke Oksana Kosyachenko's triple jump record of 13.06m (42-10.25) set back in 2001 with a leap of 13.20m (43-03.75). She secures a spot in Eugene after finishing ninth out of the 48 competitors with the top 12 marks advancing.
Bacon, who advanced in the 100-meter dash on Friday, posted the fourth-best qualifying time in the 200-meter dash. He clocked a time of 20.27 seconds to place second in his heat and secure his spot in the event. He becomes the second athlete in program history to advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in two events in one season joining Ed Preston (1975), who also qualified in the 100 and 200-meter dash.
Tiaan Steenkamp becomes the second athlete in program history to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in high jump. He joins Doug Shouse who appeared in the 1983 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Steenkamp cleared 2.05m and 2.10m on his first attempt, but it was his third and final attempt on 2.15m (7-00.50) that helped him earn his spot in Eugene. After clearing that bar, Steenkamp failed to clear 2.18m (7-01.75) on his first attempt, but a clearance on the second attempt ranked him fifth in the meet and assured his spot in Eugene.
Calea Carr also competed in the women's shot put today and finished 41st with a mark of 14.44m (47-04.50). Carr is among the six total student-athletes to advance to Eugene after securing a spot in the discus throw competition on Friday.
A-State will send a total of six student-athletes to Eugene besting the previous school record of three set multiple times, most recently in 2015. A-State's three male student-athletes heading to Eugene ties the most in program history with the 1976 (Ed Preston, William Tate and Earl Bell) and 2015 (Roelf Pienaar, Ethan Sandusky and Richard Chavez). The three female student-athletes heading to Eugene are the most in program history, besting the previous high of two back in 2013 (Sharika Nelvis and Stephanie Foreman).
The 2017 NCAA Outdoor Championships begin Wednesday, June 7 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
2017 NCAA Outdoor Championships Qualifiers
JR Jaylen Bacon | 100m/200m Dash
JR Cristian Ravar Ladislau | Hammer Throw
JR Tiaan Steenkamp | High Jump
SR Erin Farmer | Shot Put
SR Viktoriia Sadokhina | Triple Jump