May 28, 2014
RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech's track and field program heads to Jacksonville, Florida this week as qualifying athletes - 13 entries in all, the most among any North Louisiana school - begin the quest to reach Eugene, Oregon and the NCAA Championships.
LA Tech's list includes 10 individual entries along with three relays. Among Tech's qualifying marks, five rank in the top 10 in the East Prelims led by Jarvis Gotch's 26-0.25 (7.93m) mark in the long jump. In all, Louisiana Tech is second among Conference USA schools at the East Prelims and third among Louisiana schools in number of entries.
Trey Hadnot (200m, 4x100m relay), Kim Francis (100m hurdles, 4x100m relay) and Dennis Richardson (100m, 4x100m relay) are making their fourth appearance in the NCAA postseason with Francis looking to reach the NCAA Championships for the third consecutive year. The past two seasons Francis has advanced to the NCAA Championships in the 100m hurdles to finish 21st in both 2012 (with a time of 13.41) and 2013 (13.34). This being her senior year, Francis is looking to race past the semifinal round.
Hadnot advanced to the NCAA Championships his freshman season in 2011 where he finished 16th with a time of 20.97 and advanced last year but an injury prevented him from finishing in 2013 while a hamstring injury left him in the quarterfinal round at the East Prelims in 2012. A four-time All-American, Hadnot advances in the 200m and the 4x100m relay this year, a relay that he helped to a 12th-place finish last season with a time of 39.71.
Junior Charla Craddock advances to the NCAA East Prelims in three events for the second consecutive season, qualifying in the long jump, 4x100m relay and 4x400m relay. The Farmersville, Texas native won the long jump title at the Conference USA Championships last week and is looking to move on to the NCAA Championships for the first time in her career.
Action begins on Thursday with Joshua Cox in the javelin, Gotch in the long jump, Yusuf Muhammad in the 400m hurdles, Craddock in the long jump and the 100m dash opening round for Richardson, Hicks and Victoria Wade all in action.
The NCAA Selection Committee accepted the top 48 performers in each individual event and the top 24 relay teams in both relays to compete at each site hosting the NCAA Preliminary Rounds for a total of 96 athletes in each individual event and 48 relay teams competing in each event nationwide.
When competing at the NCAA Preliminary Rounds next weekend, the top 12 finishers in each individual and relay event will move on for the semifinal and final rounds of the 2014 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships scheduled to run June 11-14 at historic Hayward Field at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon.
For complete coverage of Tech Track and Field and Cross Country, please follow @LATechTandF on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.