June 6, 2012
DES MOINES, Iowa - Louisiana Tech’s Chelsea Hayes ran 11.15 and finished second in her heat – fourth overall – to advance to the finals of the 100m dash Wednesday evening at the NCAA Championships at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.
By advancing to the final round Hayes, a native of New Orleans, is guaranteed to receive her fifth All-America accolade. She will tie Bryant Wesco (1997-2000) for the most All-America honors awarded a Louisiana Tech athlete.
“I felt relieved,” Hayes said after the race. “Knowing that I had finished in the top two in my heat, I didn’t have to wait and see if my time was fast enough to advance. I was just relieved and happy that I am back to running the times I normally run.”
Her 11.15 time ranked her fourth overall, one spot and 0.01 ahead of LSU’s Semoy Hackett. That time ties her for third in school history with the same time she ran at the WAC Championships earlier this year. Hayes currently has eight of the 10 best 100m dash times in Louisiana Tech history.
Prior to running in Friday’s 100m dash finals, Hayes will also compete in the long jump on Thursday. She enters the long jump competition with the best mark from the regional round and ranked fifth in the nation overall.
She will be in the unfamiliar position of being able to relax and take all of her jumps. In most meets, including the NCAA East Prelims, Hayes has been forced to miss one or multiple jump attempts in order to compete in the 100m dash. Two weeks ago in Jacksonville, she only needed one jump to advance to the NCAA Championships.
“I will have a lot of time [for the long jump], something I am not used to,” said Hayes. “I am pretty happy that tomorrow I only have to focus on the long jump and I don’t have to worry about going to the 100m and making it to the finals in that also.”
“I was disappointed in the 4x1! Kimberly [Smith], who is our first leg, was out and we just had to change it up real quick. I knew [in the 100m dash] I would just have to go out there and make it in the 100m so I can represent Louisiana Tech in the finals,” Hayes said of the relay.
The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) awards All-America honors and traditionally announces the official honorees the Monday following the NCAA Championships.
Thursday’s action at the NCAA Championships includes Hackworth and Hayes in the long jump at 5:30 p.m. and Kim Francis in the 100m hurdles at 7:10 p.m. Action from most of day two at the NCAA Championships will be broadcast on ESPN3 and on NCAA.com.
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