May 29, 2012
RUSTON, La. - With 13 of the last 16 WAC Championships, Louisiana Tech’s women’s track and field team has always believed itself to be in a class of its own. This year’s NCAA Championship qualifiers further prove that theory.
The Lady Techsters, under the guidance of head coach Gary Stanley for the 24th season, is sending five entries to the NCAA Championships on June 6-9 in Des Moines, Iowa. But how does that compare to Tech’s “peer” institutions?
Of the current members of the Western Athletic Conference, Tech’s five entries represents over 83.3 percent of the qualifiers. Only Hawaii, with one thrower advancing, will also represent the WAC in Des Moines.
Looking at conferences, Tech is expected to continue its reign of success when it moves to Conference USA for the 2014 track and field seasons. Of the 14 institutions that will comprise Conference USA in the spring of 2014, there are 15 total qualifiers for the NCAA Championships. That means Louisiana Tech’s five entries represents a full one-third of those marks. Only Southern Miss, with four entries total, has multiple qualifiers out of that group while the rest have only one qualifier (Charlotte, East Carolina, FIU, Rice, Tulane and UTEP).
Within the state of Louisiana (but not including LSU), there are eight total qualifiers heading to Iowa with Louisiana Tech responsible for five of those eight (62.5 percent). No other school is sending multiple athletes as Louisiana-Lafayette, McNeese State and Tulane sending one each.
Moreover, Tech’s Chelsea Hayes matched the rest of the state. Hayes, a redshirt senior, used only one jump to advance in the long jump, moved on in the 100m dash and was a part of the 4x100m relay team that qualified with a school record time of 44.11. Her three entries alone equal what the rest of the state is sending to Des Moines.
In all, Louisiana Tech’s five entries is equal to that of Auburn, Iowa State, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Penn State, South Carolina and Virginia. The Lady Techsters have more NCAA final round qualifiers than seven ACC schools, 10 Big East schools, six Big Ten schools, two Big 12 schools, three Southeastern Conference schools and seven Pac-12 schools.
The NCAA Championships begin on June 6 and will continue through June 9 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa. Hayes will run in the 4x100m relay at 5:45 p.m. on June 6 and the return to the track at 7:30 p.m. that evening for the 100m dash semifinals. Then she, along with Kenyattia Hackworth, will compete in the long jump at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 7 while Kim Francis runs in the 100m hurdles semifinals at 7:10 p.m. that evening.
For complete coverage of Lady Techster Track and Field, please visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.