Press Release from Mississippi State Athletics
Four more Mississippi State athletes are headed to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships after advancing from the East Prelims on Saturday. The Bulldogs will send 10 individuals and two relays to Eugene, Ore., on June 6-9 for the final two rounds.
“What a great weekend for our kids,” head coach Steve Dudley said. “They fought their way to Oregon. Karson Kowalchuk and our 400m hurdlers had what’s probably the best weekend of competition of their lives.”
After qualifying in the 100m yesterday, Kowalchuk was running for a second ticket to Eugene in the 200m. He narrowly missed out with a 15th-place finish in 20.67, which was 0.06 seconds off of the final qualifier’s pace. The sophomore from Markham, Ont., set personal bests in three of his four races in Tampa.
Ro’Derick Spears advanced automatically after taking third in his heat of the 110m hurdles. The school record holder ran a 13.78 and finished seventh overall.
“He deserves it,” Dudley said. “He hasn’t truly trained since SEC’s where his hamstring pulled up on him. He was barely able to walk last week, so hopefully now we can train some before Oregon.”
The senior from North Port, Fla., will make his first trip to the NCAA Championships.
“It feels good to finally make it to Oregon,” Spears said. “With all the training and setbacks, I just had to trust the training and the process. Eventually, all the hard work pays off if you stick with it.”
Rhianwedd Price-Weimer also qualified on the track today, despite taking the brunt of the day’s weather. During the some of the heaviest rains of the day, she clocked a 4:15.18 to take fifth overall in the 1500m.
Dealing with poor conditions of their own, Anderson Peters and Nicolas Quijera finished first and second in the javelin to move to Oregon. MSU will be the only school with two javelin men in Eugene this year. The Bulldogs have brought home at least one medal in the event in each of the last three years.
Bulldog relay teams ran well on Saturday. Without their usual anchor leg of Spears, Juston Waters, Stephan James, Kowalchuk and Willie-Lionel Reed fell just 0.01 seconds shy of advancing to Oregon. The four finished 13th, just behind Penn State in the men’s 4x100m relay with season-best 39.62.
State was one of four teams in the East to push both of their 4x400m relays through to the national semifinals. Alon Lewis, Monica Mosley, Riley White and Keturah Smith improved to the No. 4 time in school history, running 3:35.05 to finish 11th. For the men, Waters, Rasheed Tatham, James and Vince Castillo placed eighth in 3:07.02.
Marco Arop (800m), Dejon Devroe (800m), Charles Brockman III (400m hurdles), Tatham (400m hurdles) and Malcum Tatum (400m hurdles) qualified on Friday.
Over the course of the three-day meet, Bulldogs broke two freshmen records and eight season bests. Four of those season bests and Brockman’s 400m hurdles freshman record were broken twice.
For more information on the MSU track and field team, follow the program on Twitter, like them on Facebook and join them on Instagram by searching @HailStateTF. You can also find all access coverage on SnapChat by searching 'HailStateSnap'.
Hammer (First Round): Janeah Stewart, Ole Miss, 68.36m (224-3) (Q)
MSU: 25. Brianna Smith, 57.55m (188-9)
Triple Jump (First Round): Keturah Orji, Georgia, 14.06m (46-1.5) (Q)
MSU: 16. Alexis Farley, 12.75m (41-10.0)
1500m (Quarterfinals): Elinor Purrier, New Hampshire, 4:10.90 (Q)
MSU: 5. Rhianwedd Price-Weimer, 4:15.18 (Q)
4x400m Relay (Quarterfinals): Purdue, 3:26.71 (Q)
MSU: 11. Alon Lewis, Monica Mosley, Riley White, Keturah Smith; 3:35.05 (Q)
4x100m Relay (Quarterfinals): Florida, 38.86
MSU: 13. Juston Waters, Stephan James, Karson Kowalchuk, Willie-Lionel Reed; 39.62
Javelin (First Round): Anderson Peters, 74.22m (243-6) (Q)
MSU: 2. Nicolas Quijera, 70.01m (229-8) (Q)
110m Hurdles (Quarterfinals): Ruebin Walters, Alabama, 13.55 (Q)
MSU: 7. Ro’Derick Spears, 13.78 (Q)
High Jump (First Round): Shelby McEwen, Alabama, 2.16m (7-1.0) (Q)
MSU: Reggie Miller, NH
200m (Quarterfinals): Rodney Rowe, North Carolina A&T, 20.26 (Q)
MSU: 15. Karson Kowalchuk, 20.67
4x400m Relay (Quarterfinals): LSU, 3:06.26 (Q)
MSU: 8. Juston Waters, Rasheed Tatham, Stephan James, Vince Castillo; 3:07.02 (Q)
5000m (Semifinals): Amon Kemboi, Campbell, 13:54.89 (Q)
MSU: 40. Stephen Jones, 14:47.29
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