Missouri State Advances to NCAA Nationals in Eight Events
May 17, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS -- The NCAA announced its 2012 Division I Outdoor Track and Field national qualifiers on Thursday (May 17), and Missouri State will be well represented when the first round gets underway in Austin, Texas, May 24-26.
The Bears will have competitors in eight different events, three of which rank in the top 25 nationally. Head coach Ron Boyce, who is now in his 16th season at MSU, says he is honored to have so many quality athletes and is excited about sending a balanced group to the NCAA meet.
"We're looking forward to some postseason," Boyce said. "We've got a tough road of course, but we have (jumper) Kimsue Grant who goes in with our highest marks and rankings. The others behind her have also done a great job this season. Anytime you make it to the top 48 in the country or in the region, it's exciting, and we are looking forward to the opportunity."
Grant, a junior from Arlington, Va., will be making her third trip to the NCAA's after finishing 22nd in the triple jump at the West preliminaries a year ago. She has qualified in both the long jump and triple jump for this year's meet, ranking 9th in the West Region in the triple jump (42-8.0) and 13th in the long jump (20-9.25). She was the Missouri Valley Conference outdoor champion in the long jump this season and was second in the triple jump.
Freshman Althia Maximilien (Fr., Bridgetown, Barbados) is seeded 18th in the 400-meter dash (53.36). She is coming off a second-place finish at the MVC meet in the 400 and posted her top time of the season on April 21 at Arkansas, where she ran two under 54 seconds twice this season.
Sophomore Pernell Joseph (Vieux Fort, St. Lucia) has qualified in two events and will run both the 100-meter dash and 200-meter dash at the NCAA meet. She won the MVC outdoor title in both events, posting marks of 11.61 and 23.76, respectively, in Wichita last weekend. She is seeded 27th in the 200-meter dash and 31st in a field of 48 competitors in the 100.
Joining Joseph on the 200-meter track will be freshman Merica Moncherry (Micoud, St. Luicia) who is seeded right behind her teammate at No. 28 in the 200-meter dash (23.81). Moncherry was second in the MVC outdoor meet in the 200, just five-hundredths of a second behind Joseph.
Senior discus specialist Jelani Kelly (St. Louis, Mo.) is making her third NCAA appearance. She was 35th at the 2011 NCAA West Preliminary and is coming off a season-best throw of 168-1 at the MVC Championships which ranked her fourth in the conference.
The Bears have also qualified one relay team to the NCAA level with Joseph, Moncherry, Maximilien and Grant leading the 4x100 team to a No. 16 seed for the West Preliminary. The team's winning time of 44.90 at the MVC meet makes it the No. 16 seed. Alyx Dull (So., Clinton, Mo.) will be the team's alternate for the 4x100 relay.
Joseph, Moncherry, Maximilien, Grant and Dull each earned All-MVC honors for their performances at the 2012 MVC Outdoor Championships.
For the sprint events, the top three finishers in each of the six first-round heats, plus the next 9 fastest times, advance to the national quarterfinals, also in Austin. The quarterfinals will consist of three heats, with the top three finishers from each heat and the next three fastest times moving on to the national semifinals in Des Moines, Iowa, June 6-9. The top 12 overall finishers in the long jump, shot put and triple jump from Austin will advance to Des Moines, and the field of relay qualifiers will continue with the top three finishers from each heat in Austin, plus the next three fastest times, moving on to the national semifinals in Des Moines.
The other NCAA first-round site (East) this season is Jacksonville, Fla.