By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
Several Bahamian student athletes qualified for the NCAA Track and Field Outdoor National Championships following their performances at their respective regional preliminaries last weekend.
The East Preliminaries were hosted at Indiana University’s Haugh Track and Field Complex in Bloomington, Indiana while the West Preliminaries were hosted at the University of Arkansas’ John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
The top 12 in each event qualified for the 2022 NCAA Outdoor Championships, June 8-11 at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.
The East featured several Bahamian qualifiers in multiple events.
University of Kentucky Wildcats sprinter Megan Moss was an individual qualifier in the 400m and is also a member of the top seeded 4x400m relay team.
She ran a personal best time of 52.07 seconds to finish ninth in the field and earn a qualification bid in the process.
A junior, and member of team Bahamas at the Tokyo Olympic Games, Moss advanced to the National Championships in the 400m for the second consecutive year.
On the final day of competition, she teamed with Karimah Davis, Dajour Miles and Alexis Holmes in the 4x400m to earn the top qualifying spot for the NCAAs with a time of 3:26.90.
It was also a new facility record at the Haugh Complex.
Kentucky head coach Lonnie Greene and assistant coach Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie will field a team of 19 qualifiers to the NCAA Championships.
University of Clemson’s Wanya McCoy also qualified individually and as a member of a relay team.
In the 200m, McCoy ran into a 2.5m p/h headwind but finished second in his heat with a personal best time of 20.48.
In the 4x400m, McCoy, Cameron Rose, Tarees Rhoden and Aman Thornton finished in 3:03.65 - a new Tigers’ record and NCAA qualifying time.
Tennessee Volunteers grad transfer Charisma Taylor continues her record-setting season with the programme and clinched a spot in the NCAAs triple jump field on a single attempt.
Taylor leaped 13.13m (43’ 1”) on her only attempt and finished fifth overall to qualify for Eugene.
FIU Panthers sophomore thrower Rhema Otabor also qualified for the second consecutive year in the javelin.
Otabor, a sophomore, advances in the javelin for the second consecutive season, while Miller will make her debut appearance at nationals in the pole vault.
Otabor placed fourth with a throw of 52.42m, to earn a spot in the second flight field in Eugene next month.
This season she has already reset the school record (56.25m) and looks to improve on last year when she finished no.21 overall at the NCAAs.
Head coach Norbert Elliot’s Purdue Boilermakers produced nine entries for the NCAA Championships. Senior jumper Tamar Greene finished 21st in the triple jump at a mark of 15:38m.
In the West Prelims, Texas Tech Red Raiders sprinter Terrence Jones Jr reached another milestone in the programme’s record books en route to his NCAA qualification.
Jones ran 10.03 in his heat, finishing second, but posted the third-best overall time in the field.
It was the fifth-fastest mark and he became the second-fastest sprinter in programme history.
In 2021, the sophomore qualified for the NCAAs in the 200m and finished ninth as part of the 4x100 team to earn All-America honours.
High jumper Shaun Miller Jr was the first of two Bahamians in the field headed to Oregon for the NCAAs.
The Ohio State Buckeyes junior qualified after he finished atop of the standings by clearing 2.18m on his first attempt in his signature event.
Also in the field, fifth year senior Kyle Alcine advanced to the NCAAs after he finished in the top 12 with his mark of 2.15m (7’ ½”)
Other Bahamians competing at the West Prelims included the group from Oral Roberts University.
Gabrielle Gibson was the lone Golden Eagle to advance to the quarterfinals, where she finished 22nd in the 100 metre hurdles with a time of 13.40.
Indea Cartwright placed 38th in the 100 metre hurdles with a time of 13.73.
Brad Dormeus raced in the 200m (21.06) and 400m (47.36) placing 32nd and 39th, respectively.