By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
SEVERAL Bahamians will be in competition this week among the top collegiate student athletes at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships, to be hosted June 5-8 in Austin, Texas.
Samson Colebrooke and Tamar Greene of the Purdue Boilermakers, Jyles Etienne of the Indiana Hoosiers, Denzel Pratt of the Liberty Flames and Doniesha Anderson of the Florida Gators emerged as qualifiers from regional competition last month.
Both Colebrooke and Greene will be up first on the track on Wednesday as members of the Boilermakers’ 4x100m relay team.
Purdue will run in heat three, lane five of the prelims. The top two teams in each heat, plus the next two best times, will advance. Competition begins at 6:32pm.
Colebrooke will return shortly thereafter for the 200m prelims. He will run in heat two, lane three of the prelims, which begin at 8:44pm. A busy day one for the junior sprinter concludes with heat three of the 4x400m relay at 9:48pm. Pratt will be the lone Bahamian competing in the field on day one. He will throw in flight two of the javelin as the fourth participant. Competition begins at 6:45pm.
Doniesha Anderson will compete along with her Florida Gators 4x400m teammates on Thursday, June 6. They will run in the second of three heats which begins at 10:18pm.
Friday, June 7 will feature two Bahamians in competition in the field with the Hoosiers’ Etienne and the Boilermakers’ Greene.
Etienne competes in the high jump at 7pm while Greene will participate in flight two of the triple jump at 7:40pm.
The East Regional was hosted at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida, while the West Regional was hosted by Sacramento State University in Sacramento, California.
In order to advance to the final round, athletes had to finish among the top-12 (per region) in their respective events.
Both Colebrooke and Greene were members of the record-setting 4x100m team that won the East Regional quarter-final. Their time of 38.75 was the fastest time in Purdue history, a facility record, and was the fifth-fastest time by any team in the NCAA this year.
Individually, Colebrooke also qualified in the 200m and finished ninth overall after he ran an NCAA-qualifying time of 20.46 in the quarter-final. His new personal best time also made him the second-fastest Boilermaker in programme history. He was also a member of the 4x400-metre relay team that advanced to nationals with a time of 3:05.43.
Following the 4x100m, Greene also qualified individually in the triple jump. Green leaped 16m (52 feet, six inches) to finish fourth overall.
Etienne finished 10th in the high jump field with a height of 2.19m (7 feet 2.25 inches). He recorded his season best height at Big Ten Championships where he cleared a height of 2.20m (7’ 2.5”).
Pratt returns to the NCAA championships for the second consecutive year. He qualified for Austin on his very first attempt, 67.49m (221 feet, five inches). His final throw of 68.43m (224 feet, six inches) produced a fifth-place finish at the East Regional.
This season, he has won four of his six javelin competitions and won the ASUN title most recently.
Anderson, who was named an SEC All-Freshman honouree for the individual 400m, was a member of the Gators’ 4x400m that finished No.10 at the East Regional in 3:33:49.