– EUGENE, Ore. – Inexperience certainly wasn’t a factor for Mississippi State freshmen standouts Tavaris Tate and Jody-Ann Muir Wednesday on the opening day of the 2010 Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
In front of a lively crowd of 9,891 at Oregon’s historic Hayward Field, the two promising youngsters both qualified for the finals in the 400-meter dash despite heavy rains that made for an interesting surface.
Tate, a native of Starkville, turned in a time of 45.74, the fifth fastest of the afternoon, while Jamaica’s Muir crossed the finish line seventh at 53.04.
The finals are set to begin at 8:25 p.m. on Friday.
It was also an outstanding day for upperclassmen LaQuinta Aaron and junior Emanuel Mayers.
Aaron opened competition in the heptathlon with a second-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles at 13.67 and enters Thursday’s final three events tied for 14th with 3,213 points, just 18 off the pace she had after Day 1 of the SEC Championships, where she finished with a career-best 5,633 points.
She put herself into the position she’s in by matching her season-best in the high jump at 5–00.5, while finishing 7th in the 200m at 25.0.
“If she equals what she did on Day 2 at the SECs, she’ll have a phenomenal day,” Schmidt said. “If she has that type of performance, she’ll be an All-American.”
Mayers closed out Mississippi State’s action on Wednesday in grand fashion, finishing sixth overall in the 400-meter hurdles at 50.36 to advance to Friday’s finals.
The day, however, wasn’t without disappointment.
The 4×100 SEC championship foursome of Justin Christian, Kendall May, Dwight Mullings and Tate failed to qualify after May reinjured a hamstring on the backstretch with the Bulldogs leading their heat. The injury also knocked May out of the semifinals of the 100-yard dash.
Then there were O’Neal Wilder and Mullings just missing out on qualifying for the finals of the 400, as was the case for Crystal Wilson on the women’s side.
Action resumes today with Aaron wrapping up the heptathon and the men’s and women’s 4×400-meter relays.
– Ole Miss senior distance runner Barnabas Kirui qualified for the finals of the 3,000 meter steeplechase after posting a time of 8:43.66 Wednesday on the first day of the NCAA Championships from Hayward Field.
Kirui will compete in the finals and will be in search of his second NCAA title Friday at 8 p.m. after capturing the crown as a freshman in 2007.
Martin Kirui also participated in the 3,000 meter steeplechase and finished with a time of 8:49.71.
Freshman sprinter Mike Granger turned in a time of 10.46 in the 100 meter semifinals, while sophomore Carson Blanks recorded a time of 51.93 in the 400 meter hurdle semifinals.
On the women’s side, the 4×100 meter relay team of Lor’Rena De’Jurnett, Kristin Bridges, Jasmine Williams and LaJada Baldwin finished with a time of 45.35.
Ole Miss resumes competition in the championships today at 7:15 p.m. when senior Colin Moleton competes in the javelin throw trials and finals. In addition, the women’s 4×400 meter relay team of Sofia Hellberg, Sofie Persson, Bridges and Baldwin will also take part in the semifinals.
NEMS Daily Journal