EUGENE, Ore. (6/6/18) – Seniors Jaylen Bacon and Cristian Ravar Ladislau earned All-America honors to highlight Wednesday's action among a program record five men's student-athletes representing the Arkansas State University Track and Field program in the NCAA Outdoor Championships at historic Hayward Field.
"You can't ignore the fact that we didn't have a good day today," said A-State head coach Jim Patchell. "As a coaching staff, we're going to have to go back and look and see if there's something we didn't do right in preparation, either physically or mentally. We, as a staff, will take the hit on this one because the guys competed the best they could, but it just didn't seem like we were ready."
"It's been a great year for our men's team. We had a lot of firsts, we won and indoor championship, we won the outdoor championship and we had the most qualifiers for the national championships, but we haven't taken that next step like we plan to do."
Bacon was edged out of the final of the 100-meter dash by fractions of a second. Bacon was scored in third of his heat at 10.095 and was ninth overall, missing out on the final. With the ninth place finish, Bacon earns second team All-America status, his third All-America honors outdoor and fifth of his career. Bacon closed his A-State career with an 18th-place finish in the 200-meter dash at 20.73 seconds.
Elijah Ross closed his A-State career at the highest level running in the same heat as Bacon. Ross was eighth in the heat at 10.34 seconds and finished 23rd on the final standings.
For the second-consecutive season, Cristian Ravar Ladislau attained All-American status in the hammer throw. Ravar Ladislau finished 15th with a throw of 67.75m (222-3) to finish one spot better than last season. He is the first men's thrower in program history to repeat as an All-American.
Carter Shell placed 23rd in long jump with a leap of 7.30m (23-11.50). Shell became just the fifth freshman in program history to compete at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Itamar Levi saw his A-State career come to a close at the biggest stage collegiately as he placed 22nd in the shot put with a mark of 17.92m (58-9.50).
"This group of seniors has meant a tremendous amount to this program," Patchell said. "We're definitely going to miss this group, because when they came in four years ago we were just trying to establish this program. All these seniors had great careers and we would've liked to end it on a better note today, but it wasn't for a lack of effort or competitiveness. We've got to figure out how to not have this happen again and if there is a solution to it, we will certainly find it."
Caitland Smith hits the track at 7:16 pm (CT) on Thursday in the 100-meter dash semifinal. Should she advance to the final, the race is scheduled for 6:22 p.m. (CT) on Saturday. Calea Carr competes in the discus throw on Saturday at 5:05 p.m. (CT). The A-State men see their season come to a close as Sun Belt Conference Indoor and Outdoor Champions.
For the latest on the A-State track and field, log onto the team's Facebook page at Facebook.com/AStateTrackAndField or follow the team on Twitter or Instagram at @AStateTrack.
NCAA Outdoor Championships
Hayward Field | Eugene, Ore.
Wednesday (June 6)
9. Jaylen Bacon – 10.095 | 100m Dash | 2nd Team All-America
15. Cristian Ravar Ladislau – 67.75m/222-3 | Hammer Throw | 2nd Team All-America
18. Jaylen Bacon – 20.73 | 200m Dash
22. Itamar Levi – 17.92m/58-9.50 | Shot Put
23. Elijah Ross – 10.34 | 100m Dash
23. Carter Shell – 7.30m/23-11.50 | Long Jump
Thursday (June 7)
7:16 PM (CT) – Caitland Smith | 100m Dash | Heat 2 of 3 (Lane 1)