June 8, 2012
DES MOINES, Iowa - Louisiana Tech redshirt senior Chelsea Hayes needed only two jumps this time to solidify her place as her second attempt of 21-7.25 (6.58m) placed her third in the long jump at the NCAA Championships late Thursday at Drake Stadium.
The third place finish scored six team points for Louisiana Tech and after two days of competition the Lady Techsters are tied for 16th overall along with Cal, UC Davis, UNLV and UCLA. Hayes has a chance to score more points for Tech Friday when she runs in the 100m dash finals. Louisiana Tech’s women’s team has only scored points in an NCAA Outdoor Championship once before since joining the WAC, finishing tied for 41st in 2007 with six points as the 4x400m relay finished third.
While Hayes missed out on a national title in what is arguably her best event, she still beat out jumpers from Kansas, Stanford, UCLA, Arizona State and Purdue in the finals. The women’s long jump was actually an event dominated by non-BCS schools in 2012 with TCU senior Whitney Gipson winning with a jump o f22-4.5 (6.82m) and Southern Miss senior Tori Bowie placing second with a jump of 21-10.25.
Hayes, a native of New Orleans, finished third among the 24 national semifinalists and nine finalists. Freshman teammate Kenyattia Hackworth had advanced to the national semifinals but a stomach illness kept her in a Des Moines hospital all day Thursday, rendering her unable to compete.
In other action at Drake Stadium Thursday, sophomore Kim Francis ran in the 100m hurdles semifinals Thursday, placing sixth in her heat and 21st overall with a time of 13.41. She finished just 0.02 behind Arkansas Brittany Hyter and edged Houston’s Demeeka Jones by 0.004, a finish reminiscent of the NCAA East Prelims where she beat out a UCF hurdler by 0.004 to claim the last advancing spot out of the East prelims.
Hayes returns to the track Friday for the 100m dash finals at 6:02 p.m. Friday’s action will be broadcast on NCAA.com and ESPN3.
For complete coverage of Lady Techster Track and Field, please follow @LATechTandF on Twitter and visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.