SWAC well-represented at NCAA Preliminary Rounds
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – More than 25 Southwestern Athletic Conference standouts from eight member institutions have earned bids to respective NCAA Preliminary Rounds this weekend.
Alabama A&M, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Prairie View A&M, Alabama State, Alcorn State, Mississippi Valley State, Texas Southern and Jackson State all have representatives with the opportunity to compete for a spot in the NCAA National Championship meet.
In the East Preliminary, Alabama State, Alcorn State, Jackson State and Alabama A&M will combine to send 16 athletes to Tampa to compete at the University of South Florida from May 24-26. Jackson State has two dual qualifiers, as Justin Thomas and Azariah Foster will compete individually. Thomas is also a part of the Tigers’ Tampa-bound 4x100m relay team along with Chris Felix, Jauan Addison and Jailen Bell.
Thomas qualified for the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.21 seconds during the SWAC Outdoor Track and Field championships, and ran a 20.92 in the 200m dash at the same event. Foster posted a time of 13.95 seconds during the McNeese Springtime Classic on April 7 to qualify for the 110-meter hurdles, and his 51.89 time in the 400-meter hurdles at the Home Depot Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays was good enough to earn him a spot at the prelims.
JSU’s relay team won the SWAC outdoor title in the event with a time of 39.87 seconds.
Alabama State will send three individuals into action on the women's side. The Lady Hornets will send Charminiqu Hackney into action in a pair of events, the 100-meters and the 200-meters. She qualified with the 13th-fastest in the 100-meters at 11.24 seconds, just 0.03 out of the top 10. She will also participate in the 200-meters, an event in which she has run the 26th-fastest time in the region at 23.20 seconds.
Alabama State will also have a pair of student-athletes into action in the 400-meter hurdles, including Shamaria Lovett who has run the 15th-fastest time this season at 58.02 seconds in the region, while Kyana Evans qualified with the 43rd-fastest time at 59.47 seconds.
The Lady Hornets will also send the 4x100-meter relay team into action, as they qualified 24th in the region with a time of 44.85 seconds – just 0.02 seconds behind Albany and 0.05 seconds behind Liberty and Middle Tennessee State.
On the men's side, Terrance Adams qualified with the 25th-fastest time in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 13.87 seconds. The Hornets will also send Jamie Brown to the region meet in the long jump, as he qualified 36th overall with a jump of 7.54 meters, just 0.04 meters from the top 30 heading into the meet.
For the Braves, Bralon Robinson will compete at USF after he captured the SWAC men's 100-meter dash title as he ran a 10.331. Euricka Hardy will represent the Lady Braves as she qualified for regionals in the 100-meters after turning in a season-best 11.41 to earn a silver medal at the SWAC Championships.
The Bulldogs have a quartet of athletes set to compete, starting with Alex Ward, who qualified with the 13th fastest time in the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 51.22. Tre' Williams has also qualified in the 400 meter hurdles along with teammate Ward in the 34th position with a time of 51.91.
DeAndre Baker qualified for the long jump in the 46th spot with a jump of 7.49 meters (24'6), and DeTorrian Green qualified for both in the 100-meter dash and 200 meter dash. Green, who is making his third trip to regionals, qualified in the 100-meter dash in the 40th spot with a time of 10.34 and in the 41st position in the 200-meter dash with a time of 20.88.
Mississippi Valley State’s Laval Davis is also regional bound, after turning in a 46.67 mark in the 400-meter dash during the SWAC outdoor championships.
In the West Preliminary – scheduled for May 24-26 at Sacramento State University in Sacramento, Calif. – Prairie View A&M’s Deonca Bookman earned entry into both the 100-meter hurdles (13.41) and the 400-meter (56.78) hurdles. Bookman posted the third best time in the west region in the 400m hurdles.
Nekeisha Bailey will attempt to improve her mark in the high jump after posting a career mark of 1.80m, and Kaizha Roberts will make her debut representing the Lady Panthers in the long jump after posting a career mark of 6.15m.
Representing the 2018 SWAC conference champion PVAMU men, Carl Jordan declared in both the 200-meter (21.15) and 400-meter (46.63) dash events, while his teammate and cousin William Polley will compete in the 400m dash (46.59) also.
Logan Williams earned his bid in both the 110-meter (14.10) and 400-meter (51.72) hurdles. Tristan Ham will make his debut in the West Regionals after posting a career-best and SWAC-record mark of 5.12m in the pole vault.
Texas Southern’s Roman Turner will head to Sacramento after a 10.35-second mark in the 100-meter dash. Darius Birden (46.80) declared for the 400-meter dash, and Maliek Kendall (14.20) and Harvey Kendall (2.10m) will competed in the 110-meter hurdles and high jump, respectively. TSU’s women will be represented by Nikole Haroon (53.12), who has the 28th-best time in the 400-meter dash among regional qualifiers, as well as Alexis Gray (23.52) in the 200-meter dash.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s Briana Burke is set for the long jump after a 6.09m leap at the UTA Bobby Lane Invitational on March 23. On the men’s side, Rasheed McAlpin (51.25s) and Travis Bibbs (15.54m) qualified for the 400-meter hurdles and triple jump, respectively.
The qualifiers out of each region will compete in the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championships held June 6-9 in Eugene, Oregon.
Alabama A&M Sports Information, Alabama State Athletic Strategic Communications, Alcorn State Sports Information, PVAMU Athletics Communications, MVSU Sports Information each contributed to this report.