May 28, 2010
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Shreveport natives Albert Fullwood and Kamelia Stroy punched their tickets to Eugene as both athletes qualified for the NCAA Championships on June 9-13 in the 400m dash. Fullwood topped his own school record by one-third of a second while Stroy ran a personal record time by almost half a second.
Fullwood's time of 45.72 in the quarterfinals marks his first sub-46 second time and tops his old school record of 46.10 set just one day prior. By finishing in the top three in his heat (and ninth overall), Fullwood will advance to the NCAA semifinals in Eugene.
"I planned the race out and I ran it like I had wanted to run it," Fullwood said after the race. "I was happy with the way I ran the race and I am happy with my time. I just feel good because I made the coaches proud and my family back at home proud."
Fullwood's advancement in the 400m came after several hours of preparation for that race on Friday.
"I had been planning that race for over six hours because my coaches are always telling me to visualize the race," explained Fullwood. "That way, once the gun goes off, you already know what you have to do and you won't have any surprises. I just visualized my race about six hours beforehand so that once the race began I was just going off of what I already knew."
Fullwood also advanced to Saturday's quarterfinals in the 200m, running 20.91 in Friday's opening round. Hanging near the back of the pack during the first part of the race, Fullwood surged into the top three and earned an automatic qualifying spot in Saturday's quarterfinals in the final 50m.
"That was part of the plan, considering I was in lane seven and had three guys in front of me that were running really fast," said Fullwood. "I figured that all I had to do was stick with them and when I got out of the turn, I knew I had to drop the hammer because that's how they move."
"I was really focused on getting out in the first 80m just a little bit harder than yesterday and then lasting throughout the race," Stroy said. "[After posting such a big personal record], it feels like I can do anything. I am so confident with myself and my training and I'm just ready to continue to go faster."
In the 100m hurdles, Antoinette Cobb overcame a bad start and some early nerves to run 13.08 and to advance to Saturday's quarterfinals.
"I didn't have a great start today and I felt behind during the first three hurdles," Cobb said. "But I feel like I made up for that during the second set of three hurdles. I was a little nervous about 10 minutes before the race today, but once I started warming up I wasn't nervous anymore."
Early nerves and an eagerness to race led Cobb to accidentally swallow her gum right before the starting gun went off.
"I accidentally swallowed my gum in the blocks; so it was there, it just didn't make it through the race," she explained. "I was just ready to come out of the blocks so much I was afraid I was going to false start. When the starter said `Set' I just accidentally swallowed the gum. At first I was afraid it was going to get caught in my throat during the race. I don't think I'll have gum in my mouth tomorrow."
On the men's side, Billy Ray Walker advanced in the 110m hurdles after finishing ninth overall in the opening round with a personal record time of 13.95. Cobb and Walker will be challenging for a chance to compete at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. during Saturday's quarterfinals.
In other action on the track, Terry Carter finished 24th overall in the 200m with a time of 21.30, but fell just shy of advancing to the quarterfinal round. Kevin Stewart placed 35th in the race with a time of 21.54.
Sales also ran the 100m dash quarterfinals, where the top 12 advance to Eugene, but finished 23rd with a time of 11.73. Chasidee Lewis-Baker finished 21st in the 100m, running 11.71, while Chelsea Hayes ran 11.81 to finish 24th.
Saturday wraps up the NCAA East Preliminary Championships at the Irwin Belk Track in Greensboro. Field event action starts at 9:30 a.m. ET/8:30 a.m. CT with Larry Jones competing in the discus, an event he has won two consecutive Western Athletic Conference titles in. The running events start at 6 p.m. ET/5 p.m. CT with the men's 4x100m relay and wrap up at 9:45 p.m. ET/8:45 p.m. ET with the women's 4x400m relay.
For complete coverage of Louisiana Tech Track and Field, please visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.