Auburn Track And Field Teams Complete Successful Showing At Tyson Invitational
Feb. 13, 2010
AUBURN - The Auburn men's and women's track and field teams wrapped up a successful weekend at the Tyson Invitational hosted by the University of Arkansas Saturday, with six athletes posting NCAA provisional qualifying marks, including one first-time qualifier and four others that improved their previous qualifying marks.
In all, the Tigers recorded NCAA provisional qualifying marks from 12 individuals and a relay team during the two-day meet, including two first-time qualifiers.
"We had an awesome weekend," said head coach Ralph Spry. "This was a very big meet with a lot of the top schools, and it gave us a good measuring stick of where we are heading into the SEC and national championships. We had a lot of national qualifiers and beat a lot of people head to head, which was the biggest thing. "
Sophomore Marcus Rowland had the top finish for Auburn on Saturday, finishing first among collegiate athletes and second overall in the men's 200 meters with a personal-best time of 23.89 seconds. Rowland's time ranks No. 5 in the NCAA this year and bumps him up to second place in Auburn indoor history. Also in the men's 200 meters, junior Michael DeHaven and sophomore Harry Adams placed 17th and 18th, respectively, with identical times of 21.33 seconds.
In the women's 200 meters, the Tigers had two previous NCAA qualifiers who improved their national standing. Sophomore Nivea Smith was sixth overall and second among collegians with a time of 23.44 seconds, while junior Sheniqua Ferguson was one place behind in 23.47 seconds. They moved up to a tie for sixth place and eighth place this year in the NCAA, respectively, as well as fifth and sixth, respectively, in Auburn indoor history.
Auburn also improved its national standing in the women's 4x400-meter relay, as the team of Cache Armbrister, CeCe Williams, Danielle Gilchrist and Joanna Atkins finishing fifth overall and fourth among collegiate squads with a time of 3:36.06 - a time that ranks sixth in the NCAA this year and fourth in Auburn indoor history.
Auburn's first-time NCAA qualifier on Saturday was freshman Maya Pressley in the women's invitational high jump. Pressley placed fourth overall with a jump of 1.81 meters (5-11.25), which ranks fifth in school indoor history.
In the men's invitational high jump, sophomore Ryan Fleck tied for third overall and placed second among collegiate athletes with a mark of 2.20 meters (7-2.25). His mark actually tied for the best in the field, but he tied for third based on more misses. Fleck was just one centimeter shy of his season best that ranks tied for sixth in the NCAA this year.
Another fine performance came in the women's invitational 3,000 meters, where junior Holly Knight finished third with a time of 9:33.93, missing the NCAA provisional cutoff time by less than two seconds. Although she missed the NCAA time, she set a personal best and recorded the third-best time in school indoor history.
"I feel really good about where we are," said Spry. "The only negative thing this week was that the coming off our meet at Penn State the weather was so bad that we weren't able to get as sharp as I would have liked, but our kids still stepped up and performed very well. I'm really pleased and looking forward to the next few weeks."
Auburn will take next weekend off before returning to Fayetteville to compete at the SEC Indoor Championships Feb. 26-28.
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