May 24, 2012
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Louisiana Tech had two long jumpers advance to the NCAA Championships in Des Moines and Chelsea Hayes set a school record while advancing to Friday’s quarterfinals in the 100-meter dash as action began at the 2012 NCAA East Preliminary Championships at Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville Thursday.
With only one jump attempt, passing on her other five possible attempts, Hayes set a new facility record and finished first in the long jump with a mark of 21-10.25 (6.66m). She was forced to pass on her next two opening round attempts in order to run in the 100-meter dash prelims. Returning to the long jump runway, Hayes found herself in first place and passed on all three finals attempts.
“I thought I would have to take more jumps because I was jumping against Tori [Bowie from Southern Miss] who was the indoor and outdoor national champ last year. I figured I would have to jump farther or even more but I didn’t so I was surprised about that,” Hayes said.
Also in the long jump, freshman Kenyattia Hackworth finished fifth with a personal record mark of 20-8.5 (6.31m). Hackworth scratched her first attempt thinking she had fouled, then hit a personal best mark. Following that, Hackworth passed on all her remaining jumps similar to Hayes.
“It feels good. I didn’t know what to think,” Hackworth said of being the only freshman to advance to the NCAA Championships in the long jump from the East prelims. “I was overwhelmed, honestly, and really excited. It feels like all my hard work has paid off for now. To get to the next level it feels good.”
In the 100-meter dash, Hayes ran a season-slow 11.56 time but she still won her heat and automatically advanced to Friday’s quarterfinal round. Yet she knew she didn’t have to push herself to advance with the top three in each heat moving to the next round. She even knew mid-race that her heat was extremely slow.
Teammate Kimberly Smith ran 11.62 and finished fourth in her heat and 14th overall (out of 48 total sprinters) to also advance to Friday’s quarterfinal round. Hayes and Smith will run at 6:45 p.m. ET/5:45 p.m. CT with Smith in the first of three heats in lane two while Hayes will be in the second heat in lane six.
Dennis Richardson ran 10.68 in the 100-meter prelims on the men’s side but did not advance as he placed 36th overall.
Friday’s action begins at 3 p.m. ET/2 p.m. CT with Vassell throwing the discus. Running events begin with the men’s 4x100m relay starting at 6 p.m. ET/5 p.m. CT.
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