With the NCAA DII Outdoor Track & Field Championships set begin in just over a week at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. the NCAA officially announced the qualifiers Tuesday afternoon. For Shorter, 16 student-athletes will represent the Blue & White, in 11 different events including three relays.
Shorter’s men enter the Championships as the 7th-ranked team in DII as the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced its final list of rankings ahead of the Championships Tuesday as well. The Hawks have spent all, but one week, ranked among the Top-10, climbing as high at four, the week following the GSC Championships.
The Hawks earned automatic qualifications during the season in four events; while setting new school records in all but one. School records came in the 800m, 110 Hurdles and 4x400m relay. While, Lester Miller just missed breaking the school record in the 100m to earn his qualification.
This year, the Hawks will have representation in both relays for the first time in the DII era; while also seeing two qualify in the 400 Hurdles, to post the first time they’ve qualified two individuals in the same event at a Championship.
Miller led the way with three qualifications; earning a spot in the prelims at both the 100m and 200m distances, before rounding out the list of competitors for the 4x100m relay. Joining him in the 4x100m are Devin Wallace, Emile Cesaire and Barnett Bailey. To qualify in the event, the group covered the distance in the fifth fastest time in DII this season, 40.21, just this past weekend at the Aggie Last Chance hosted by NC A&T.
Deangelo Harris, Christian Smith and Wake Roberds will each run an individual event, along with a leg in the 4x400m. Harris in the 400m, and both Smith and Roberds in the 400 Hurdles. Todd Woodring will join the group in the 4x400m, an event that received an automatic qualification when the group crossed the distance in the record breaking time of 3:07.99 to best the field of all DI teams at the Florida Relays. The time is the second fastest in the DII this year.
Rounding out the list of qualifiers for the Hawks, is Jonathan Ross, who now holds the school record in the 60m hurdles (indoor) and the 110m hurdles (outdoor), will be making his NCAA DII Outdoor Nationals debut this year after previously earning a qualification in each of the last three Indoor Championship – twice at Limestone, and earlier this year for Shorter. En route to his automatic qualification to the Outdoor Championships, Ross posted the Shorter’s first-ever sub-14 second time in the 110 hurdles, recording a time of 13.86. The previous record stood at 14.09, set by Nate Scott at the NAIA Championships in 2010.
The Lady Hawks earned qualifications in three events, including the first qualification for a relay team in the 4x100m at the DII National meet. Shorter has previously run the 4x400m at each of the last two championships; this year’s team just missing a qualification by .5 seconds.
Anelise Aldana will participate in the triple jump for the second time in as many seasons, looking to better her 20th place finish a year ago. To qualify she cleared a distance of 12.42m (40′ 9″) for first place at the GSC Championships.
Jasmine Crump will be running at the DII Championships for the third time, earning a spot in the 400m race, after posting a personal best time in the event (55.19) at the GSC Championships; where she finished second overall. At each of the last two championships she’s ran a leg in the 4x400m.
Shorter’s 4x100m team earned its qualification this past weekend at the Aggie Last Chance hosted by NC A&T, crossing the distance in 46.04. Teaming up for the event is Kemor Anderson – who is participating in her second DII Championships after earning a selection as a freshman as part of the 4x400m squad – Cheyenne Easley, Bria Dean and Alexis Smith.