GREENSBORO, N.C. – After a strong opening day to the NCAA Outdoor Championships East Region in Greensboro Thursday, the Mississippi State track and field teams did not let up Friday.
MSU qualified five Bulldogs and two Lady Bulldogs for the NCAA Outdoor Championships with outstanding performances at Aggie Stadium.
“Today was a dream come true for the Mississippi State Bulldogs,” head coach Al Schmidt said. “We are setting ourselves up to have a phenomenal trip to the NCAA Championships.”
In stellar fashion three Bulldog sprinters punched their ticket to the final rounds of the 400-meter dash to be run June 9-12 in Eugene, Ore.
Freshman Tavaris Tate was the event’s top qualifier, finishing in 45.05 seconds. Senior Dwight Mulligs added to his impressive final season having the third best qualifying time, 45.12 seconds, while O’Neal Wilder qualifies in 45.46 seconds.
“It’s a great day to be a Bulldog 400 runner,” Schmidt added. “To have three qualify for the final rounds is a big thing. Tate ran a great race to finish as the leading qualifier, and both Dwight and O’Neal ran exceptionally well.”
Two Lady Bulldogs also shined in the 400, as freshman Jody-Ann Muir ran 52.79 to have the fifth fastest qualifying time, and senior Crystal Wilson ran a personal-best 53.11 seconds to also qualify for the Championship rounds in Oregon.
The day continued to get better for MSU thinclads as Kendall May ran a personal-best 10.18 seconds to qualify in the 100-meter dash.
“Kendall ran a great personal-best race to make it in,” Schmidt said.
However May was just getting started and ran an impressive 20.93 seconds in the 200-meter dash to make his second trip to the NCAA finals. Gerron Hendricks also qualified in the 200 running 21.20 seconds.
“Both Kendall and Gerron ran very well today, and I couldn’t ask for better performances out of them,” Schmidt said.
Junior Emmanuel Mayers ran a season best 49.86 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles to finish second and ensure a trip to compete for a national title in the event.
In the 100-meter hurdles, MSU had two Lady Bulldogs qualify for the semi-final round. LaQuinta Aaron and Keisha Wallace will vie for a trip to nationals today at 6:20 p.m.
MSU completes its stint at the NCAA Outdoor Championships East Region today beginning with the 4×100-meter relay at 5 p.m.