SEVERAL Bahamian student athletes have advanced to the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships following their performances at their respective regional qualifiers.
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.
The 2019 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships Final will be hosted by the University of Texas Longhorns in Austin, Texas, June 5-8.
For the Purdue Boilermakers, Samson Colebrooke and Tamar Greene will both be headed to Austin for the final.
Both were members of the record-setting 4x100m team that won the East Regional quarterfinal. Their time of 38.75 seconds was the fastest time in Purdue history, a facility record and was the fifth-fastest time by any team in the NCAA this year.
Purdue was initially disqualified following the race. However, after the officials’ review, the call was reversed and the team was reinstated.
Individually, Colebrooke also qualified in the 200m and finished ninth overall after he ran an NCAA qualifying time of 20.46 in the quarterfinal. His new personal best time also made him the second-fastest Boilermaker in programme history.
Colebrooke finished 16th in the 100m with a time of 10.27. He was also a member of the 4x400-metre relay team that advanced to the 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. He passed on his final two attempts once he secured the berth to nationals.
Jyles Etienne of the Indiana Hoosiers advanced to Austin in the high jump. He finished 10th in the field with a height of 2.19m (7 feet 2.25 inches).
Etienne recorded his season’s best height at the Big Ten Championships where he cleared a height of 2.20m (7’ 2.5”).
The Liberty Flames’ Denzel Pratt will return to the NCAA championships for the second consecutive year. Pratt 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, Pratt has won four of his six javelin competitions and won the ASUN title most recently.
Donavon Storr also competed for Southeastern Louisiana at the East Regional. In the 200m, he ran a 21.26 to finish sixth in heat five, 38th overall. In the 400m, he finished eighth in heat one in 47.52, 40th overall. His 4x400m team finished 15th in a time of 3:08.81.
Several Bahamians also competed at the West Regionals including the trio of Sasha Wells, Kayvon Stubbs and Bradley Dormeus from Oral Roberts University.
In the 100m hurdles, Wells finished 19th overall in a time of 13.59. In the opening round, she set a new personal best, and new school record of 13.39 en route to earning a spot in the quarterfinal.
Stubbs was eighth in heat two with her time of 25.67 (+2.0), 46th overall.
On the men’s side, Dormeus finished 8th in heat six of the 400m in 47.73.
Charisma Taylor, of the Washington State Cougars, finished 26th overall in the triple jump with a mark of 12.50m (41 feet 0.25 inches)
Texas Southern’s Alexis Gray finished seventh in heat three of the 200m in 24.05, 38th overall.
Shakeem Smith and Dreshanae Rolle both competed for the University of Texas El-Paso in the 400m hurdles. Smith notched a 22nd-place finish with a time of 52.80 while Rolle finished 23rd in 1:00.16.