June 10, 2014
EUGENE, Ore. - Louisiana Tech will compete among the nation's best this week for a chance at individual championships as six student-athletes in five events head to Eugene, Oregon for the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships beginning Wednesday.
Francis is making a trip to the NCAA Championships for the third consecutive year while Hadnot is making his first return in the 200m since his freshman season in 2011 after injuries have prevented him from advancing the last two years. The Ruston, Louisiana native did advance as part of the men's 4x100m relay team last year as he helped the squad finish 12th along with Dennis Richardson, who makes his second trip.
Louisiana Tech is one of 11 Conference USA schools (out of 15 that compete in track and field) that have qualified student-athletes for the final rounds of the NCAA Championships and is one of nine that have sent multiple delegates to Oregon. Tech ranks tied for third among C-USA schools in the number of qualifying marks at the final rounds, behind East Carolina (7) and UTEP (6) and tied with Rice (5).
Only 24 student-athletes in each event advance to the NCAA Championships - 12 from the NCAA East Prelims and 12 from the NCAA West Prelims. Technically the two preliminary sites are considered the first rounds at the NCAA Championships with the prelims and quarterfinal rounds competed. This week in Oregon will be the semifinal and final rounds.
In the sprints, there are three heats of eight slated with the top two from each heat plus the next two best times overall advancing to the finals. Francis will be in the first of three heats in the 100m hurdles in a disadvantageous lane 8 with the fifth-best quarterfinal time in the heat. She will be racing against seven other hurdlers including Conference USA rival Janice Jackson, a senior from UTEP that has battled Francis for the top hurdles time in the league all season long and upended Francis at the C-USA Championships for the gold medal.
Hadnot is an even tougher draw in the men's 200m as he is slated for lane 1 in the second heat. His slow time during the quarterfinal round gives him the slowest time in his semifinal heat and he will have to overcome a tough lane position to advance.
After running a near season-best time and the seventh-best time in school history of 39.60 in the quarterfinal round, the men's 4x100m relay drew lane 8 in the third heat of the relay. Just like the sprints, the top two from each heat and the next two best times will advance to the final round. The Bulldogs will be going up against four teams from the talent-rich Southeastern Conference (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Ole Miss) along with Florida State, Baylor and Conference USA foe East Carolina in the heat.
In the field events, 24 student-athletes have advanced to the NCAA Championships with each student-athlete getting three attempts in one of two simultaneous flights. The top nine marks advance to the finals for three more attempts to determine the national champion.
Josuha Cox's javelin mark ranks him 20th out of the 24 competitors in his event while Jarvis Gotch is fifth in the long jump.
Live results from the NCAA Championships will be available on LATechSports.com.
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.